Shaw’s $2-billion purchase of Canwest Global Communication’s broadcasting assets has cast a dark shadow over the industry, says Telus. They warn that Shaw’s acquisition could lead to market power abuse, and is demanding that regulators maintain an eagle eye on what Shaw does with its new content properties.
Shaw is parallel to Rogers Communications and Quebecor Inc, both of which seek deep integration between their content assets and potential distribution networks, such as wireless and cable. And Telus isn’t thrilled.
“This has serious implications for the Canadian broadcasting system, given the potential for self-dealing and anti-competitve behaviour,” quoth Telus in in a file submitted to to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission this week.
Telus’s report firmly suggests that the CRTC adopts “safeguards” to “limit abuse” by Shaw, who already won consent from the Competition Bureau. CRTC has scheduled a hearing for late September. If Shaw wins their approval, the company will officially own Global TV, a major private network, as well as numerous other specialty channels. Telus’s concern, therefore, is that Shaw will favour its own channels and grant them superior real estate or marketing exposure.