BUSINESS

Netflix-CRTC Clash Born Out Of Interference By Harper: Experts

09/23/2014 01:00 EDT | Updated 11/23/2014 05:59 EST
OTTAWA - Experts say a move by Netflix to defy the will of Canada's broadcast regulator calls into question its very authority to institute any rules governing Internet-based video service providers.

And the Prime Minister's Office is being blamed for forcing the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission into a corner.

Netflix has told the CRTC it won't turn over sensitive corporate information, despite being ordered to do so at a hearing last Friday.

The online video streaming company says it doesn't have guarantees that the subscriber and programming information will be kept secret.

Perhaps more importantly, Netflix says it does not recognize the CRTC's authority over it under the Broadcasting Act.

Industry watchers are torn over whether the defiance will lead to a court battle.

But they say Netflix is standing up to the regulator after being emboldened by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has said his government will not allow levies against online video services to pay for production of Canadian content, something he has referred to as a "Netflix tax."

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