Embedded below is a graphical look at what a Bell-Astral combined entity might look like in the United States (courtesy of Telus). The level of media concentration is remarkable, cutting across all sectors in a way that no one does in the U.S.
Archive for August, 2012
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that Canadian negotiators recently advised that there remains a sharp divide over issues such as investment rules, financial services, and taxation. Given the ongoing European financial crisis, these issues are particularly sensitive and will raise questions about how much risk the government is willing to assume in order to strike a deal.
The most contentious issue, however, is likely to be the intellectual property chapter. The revelation that provisions from the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement may sneak their way into CETA generated widespread headlines throughout Europe last month with politicians and activists expressing exasperation at the clumsy attempt to secretly revive an agreement that was roundly rejected by the European Parliament.
The Canadian opposition to the chapter will come from European demands for patent reforms that could result in billions in additional health care costs due to higher pharmaceutical prices. The pharmaceutical demands are one Europe’s top priorities, but Canada has thus far refused to counter the EU proposals, creating a stalemate that has dragged on for years.
Appeared in the Toronto Star on August 12, 2012 as Billions at Stake if Canada Caves on Drug Patent Demands The negotiations over a Canada – European Union trade agreement may be approaching the final stretch as both sides say they plan to wrap up the CETA talks by the […]
Steve Verheul, the lead Canadian negotiator for the Canada – EU Trade Agreement, provided an update on the CETA negotiations last week on a call with civil society groups. My first post on the call included an update on the timing of future rounds, the lack of transparency with the […]
Second, when asked about the lack of transparency associated with CETA, Verheul confirmed that both the EU and Canada oppose the release of the text until the agreement is concluded. He argued that the draft text may create an inaccurate picture of where the negotiations stand and that the most difficult issues are often addressed via face-to-face discussions rather than with the exchange of text.