June 18, 2022
Bill C-11 the Online Streaming Act is likely to pass Third Reading in the House of Commons early next week after the Liberals teamed up with the Bloc and the NDP to impose closure on the Conservative filibuster.
The Heritage Committee passed 42 of about 150 amendments submitted by MPs (approximately 120 submitted by the Conservatives) and I offer a brief inventory here.
One amendment that didn’t make the cut was the NDP-submitted proposal for local TV news recommended by both the CRTC and the government’s expert panel, voted down by the Liberals themselves. I wrote about the urgency of that amendment here.
The Online News Act C-18 (the “FaceGoogle pay-for-news” legislation) will return in the fall Parliamentary session. It has passed Second Reading and now moves on to the Heritage Committee. There has been industry muttering about whether Facebook is planning to aggressively shed news content from its Feed and what that means for legislation like C-18. US commentator Joshua Benton is a long time opponent of FaceGoogle legislation and has an interesting take on it all.
Benton’s view might be tempered by the latest industry metrics on news viewership over social networks published by Oxford Reuters. The same study has data about news audience disengagement that left me slightly queasy.
The Competition Bureau has filed its pre-hearing rebuttal to Rogers and Shaw on the Bureau’s application asking the Competition Tribunal to block the $26 Billion merger. The Globe coverage is here.
Bureau Chief Matthew Boswell’s litigation blood is up it seems, as he offered this zinger: “[The deal] will result in a transfer of wealth from low- and moderate-income groups in society to the respondents, whose shareholders include ultra-rich members of the family ownership groups of these companies.”
And here is something that just popped into my Inbox: the CRTC has announced it will release its ruling on the long expired CBC license this coming week.
Updated and Breaking: The Globe is reporting that Rogers has negotiated the sale of the Shaw wireless division Freedom Mobile to Québecor for $2.85 billion, likely removing the last regulatory obstacle to its $26 billion merger.