World Economy

Canada Telecom Regulator Bars Google, Netflix From TV Review

Canada Telecom Regulator Bars  Google, Netflix From TV ReviewCanada Telecom Regulator Bars  Google, Netflix From TV Review

Canada’s telecommunications regulator said it won’t take comments from Netflix Inc. (NFLX) and Google Inc. (GOOGL) into consideration when it decides on new rules for TV after the companies refused to provide information on how Canadians watch their content.

The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission held hearings earlier this month on how it should adjust regulations that deal with cable TV and online streaming services. Google, which operates the YouTube video website, and Netflix, the biggest online streaming service, both said at hearings that they shouldn’t be required to carry a set amount of Canadian content like traditional TV providers.

The refusal of the companies to comply with the commission’s request to pass on data on how much Canadian content is watched on their services will mean their contributions to the debate are removed from public record on Oct. 2, the regulator said in letters sent to the companies yesterday and made public on its website.

 Arguments Unclear

“By refusing to provide any supporting evidence, the Commission cannot fully test and evaluate the strengths of Netflix’s argument which, if supported by evidence, may otherwise be very compelling,” CRTC Secretary General John Traversy wrote in a letter to Netflix. In a letter to Google, the CRTC also said it wasn’t able to “fully test and evaluate the strengths of Google’s argument.”

Google gives Canadians a platform to share their creations without regulation, the Mountain View, California-based company said at a hearing in Quebec, Sept. 8. Canadian shows and movies are already popular on Netflix’s service, Corie Wright, the company’s global public policy director, said at a hearing, Sept. 19.

In a letter to the commission on Sept. 22, Wright said Netflix wouldn’t hand over the information because it was competitively sensitive. The CRTC’s orders weren’t applicable under Canadian broadcasting law, Wright also said.

Anne Marie Squeo, a spokeswoman for Netflix, based in Los Gatos, California, declined to comment on the CRTC’s letter. There was no immediate response to an e-mail sent to Adam Kovacevich, a spokesman for Google.