Telus Calls on CRTC to Establish Vertical Integration Safeguards

Telus has called on the CRTC to establish new safeguards against the abuse of market power in light of the vertical integration that has occurred in the Canadian broadcast and telecom market in recent months. The company’s proposed safeguards include:

  • Distributors should not withhold content from competitors. This will prevent anti-competitive programming blackouts.
  • Preferential or exclusive programming rights should not permitted in Canada. Consumers should not have to switch suppliers to watch their favorite shows.
  • To ensure fair competition, vertically integrated broadcasters should not benefit from a head-start in launching new programming services.
  • Fees charged for a programming service should be in line with fees charged for other services of equal value to consumers to ensure consumer costs do not skyrocket.

I wrote about some of the risks associated with vertical integration last year.


  1. Uh Oh!
    I’m afraid that the ISPs that have purchased content owners (such as CTV) have based their business plans on being able to implement UBB. Thinking they had this wrapped up and in their pocket, they would be able to limit the competition. Watch for them to fight tooth and nail against the anti-UBB movement because it will undermine the whole viability of their acquisitions.

    IMO the vertical integration they have embarked on is going to significantly come back to bite them in the ass.

  2. Sour grapes
    Maybe I’m being too cynical, but if Telus had the opportunity to get in bed with a distributor, I think they would have. They were simply late to the party and other companies beat them to it, so this is a way for Telus to say if we missed out on this sweet deal, everyone else should too.

  3. This is going to be nightmare no matter how its chalked up.

    Why can’t I just buy a dumb pipe?

    Why does every public company have to have a mission statement of growing to the point of taking over the world?

  4. Who would have thought Netflix would cause such a stir? They put the fire under Bell which precipitated all the UBB stuff (Canadian businesses were quite happy going nowhere). Now Telus is digging it’s heels in in the other direction, with the obvious presumption that “content is [still] king”. But, noone wants content anymore. People are their own content. Telecoms should not be in the content business in the first place. (Where is this in Telus’ list?) They should focus on increasing access or GTFO.

  5. Bob Smits says:

    Telus doesn’t carry all signals
    Telus doesn’t even supply the BC Parliamentary Channel on it’s satellite feed. It’s high time we divorced the delivery of information from the creation of information.

    No more backroom deals for “special” partners. One side of the business should deliver bandwidth – for cable, internet, etc and the other side the material that people are downloading – whether it is cable, internet access, movies, etc.

    Everyone should pay the same basic rate so that a movie downloaded from Netflix costs no more than one watched on cable.