Netflix: competition, not regulation, is the way to stimulate Canadian content

Netflix: competition, not regulation, is the way to stimulate Canadian content
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TORONTO — Netflix says it shouldn’t be forced to pay into funds that are designed to support the creation of Canadian content, arguing that the country is better served by market competition than by regulating foreign online services.

The California-based company makes the argument in a submission to a government-appointed expert panel that will make recommendations for changing Canada’s laws governing broadcasting and telecommunications.

A 30-page submission by Netflix, made public Friday, says it’s on track to “significantly exceed” a $500-million commitment to fund original content made in Canada under a five-year agreement announced in 2017.

The paper, dated Jan. 11, is one of many submissions to the expert panel, which is expected to complete its review by Jan. 31, 2020.

Netflix argues that foreign online services like it would face unfair discrimination if it’s forced by law to pay into the Canadian Media Fund, which currently restricts some rights to Canadian-owned broadcasters and distribution companies.

It also noted that it faces increased competition from other Canadian video-on-demand services, including Bell Media’s Crave subscription service, and the newer ad-supported CTV Movies and CTV Throwback.

The Canadian Press

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