Category vertical integration
You helped stop the Bell-Astral takeover last year that would have given Bell a monopolistic share of the media market and harmed citzen choice. Now, Bell is making a second power grab at Astral Media. The media giant hopes for “abbreviated hearings” (i.e., less citizen input) this time around. Speak out against this Big Telecom power grab at http://StoptheTakeover.ca. Article by Steve Ladurantaye for The Globe and Mail:
Big telecom company Bell is once again trying to take over Astral Media and gain more control over Canada’s media system. This comes only one month after the CRTC listened to Canadians decrying the deal and shot down the merger, saying that this concentration of power in Bell’s hands would not benefit the public. Bell is attempting to make the argument that their takeover would benefit Canadians, despite the fact that Canadians have already been clear that this is not the case. Learn more about the Bell/Astral merger and take action at StopTheTakeover.ca. Read more on these developments in our press release.
Bell is attempting to repackage its $3.38-billion takeover of Astral Media to decision-makers at the CRTC. This Big Telecom power-grab would lead to higher vertical integration, less market choice and increased costs to Canadians. Let's ensure that our voices are heard once more. Speak out against Bell's tightening grip over Canadian communications by telling the CRTC to StopTheTakeover.ca. Article by Steve Ladurantaye and Jacquie McNish for The Globe and Mail Canada’s broadcast regulator has signalled it would clear the way for BCE Inc. to bulk up in Quebec as it resurrects its bid for Astral Media Inc, provided the media giant unloads television and radio stations in the rest of the country and does a better job of explaining how its $3-billion takeover would benefit Canadians. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission warned BCE and Astral Media when it rejected the first takeover bid that it was concerned that a combined company would control too much of the Canadian market, including Quebec.
After speaking out against Bell's $3.4-billion takeover of Astral Media, the CRTC made a decision to listen to Canadians and block the Big Telecom expansion of power. Naturally, Bell hasn't been so easy to give up on its power-grab – instead now taking on Canadians and the CRTC. We need to stand by the CRTC decision that was made in our favour, telling our MPs to do the same. Sign and share our StopTheTakeover.ca campaign to help stop Bell's takeover for good. Article by Simon Houpt for The Globe & Mail It sounded at once alluring and kind of unseemly. At a roundtable chat here on Tuesday afternoon hosted by Larry King, Kevin Crull, the president of Bell Media, listened in admiration as his fellow panelists sketched out their utopian visions for how technology is making the world an infinitely better place. One Kenyan entrepreneur talked about a game he had developed, in which players protect trees from illegal loggers, that helped change people’s views of the practice in the real world. Brian David Johnson, a futurist at Intel, marvelled: “The idea that people just carry the Internet in their pocket – they carry a gateway to global business, to global politics in their pocket – I think has just had a massive, massive effect on our society.”
As part of a larger campaign to spread awareness about communications issues in Canada, we at OpenMedia.ca have been encouraging students at universities and colleges across Canada to run OpenMedia.ca clubs on their campuses. Previously, our campus club at OpenMedia McGill reported back on their trip to the Bell/Astral hearings in September. Now, they're sharing their insight into the CRTC decision that was made after Canadians spoke out to StopTheTakeover.ca. Read on for how Bell's takeover was stopped with your support, where the merger stands now and how you can help in speaking out further.
Given that Canada’s media system is already one of the most highly concentrated in the industrialized world, the case has brought a lot of attention to the problems of vertical integration, and the negative impacts it can have on the availability of content, and the prices we pay. As the CRTC noted in its ruling, Bell is “the largest Internet service provider in Canada, the second largest wireless service provider and the third largest television distributor”. When one company owns the medium and the message, there is a strong profit incentive to push content that it owns, or restrict access to other content it doesn’t control.
After losing in its battle against Canadians before the CRTC, Bell announced it would try to get parliament to overturn the decision! The Big Telecom company just can't respect the will of citizens in a democracy. Despite Bell's sour grapes, the federal government has stated that it won't overturn yesterday's groundbreaking decision by the CRTC to stop Bell's takeover. Bell's dwindling options now reside with the Federal Court of Appeal. We must stay vigilant in case they go that route. Thank you for speaking out and ensuring that Bell's takeover was stopped. Let's continue forward with fixing Canada's broken telecom market. Read more about the government's decision in a news article at The Globe and Mail
Because of your support of the http://StopTheTakeover.ca/ campaign, Bell's takeover of Astral Media has been stopped by the CRTC. Had the deal been approved, Bell would have been given an overwhelming market share of Canada's communications – effectively allowing them to price-gouge Canadians and restrict access to the open Internet. We're now taking steps to fix our broken telecom market. Simply put: THANK YOU. Article by Knowlton Thomas for Techvibes Earlier this year Bell acquired Astral Media for a whopping $3.4 billion. But the deal was too big to happen easily—the merger acquired a deep investigation from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Today, the CRTC finalized a decision. And it shocked many.
As broadcast regulators review Bell's takeover of Astral Media, we're keeping a close eye on Bell's increasing vertical integration that would put Canadian pricing and choice at risk. Speak out against Bell's tightening grip over Canadian communications by telling the CRTC to StopTheTakeover.ca. Article by Chris Peirce for Financial Post Innovation in this digital age is driving transformational change. If Canada acts to harness this transformation, Canadian consumers will be able to access and utilize the content they desire, and Canadian businesses will become more productive and competitive in both the Canadian and global economies. Canadian success at home and abroad for a generation and beyond is contingent upon the decisions we make today to foster a marketplace that drives and rewards this innovation.
As broadcast regulators review Bell's $3.4B takeover of Astral Media, we've been reviewing how this acquisition would increase telecom prices, saturate Canada's media channels and severely limit consumer choice. Beyond affecting Canadians on a national level, Bell's takeover could take away from Francophone cultural identity, to which Astral Media has long been a prominent supporter. Speak out in telling the CRTC that Bell's increasing vertical integration is bad for all Canadians at StopTheTakeover.ca. Article by Allan Woods for The Toronto Star Quebec revels in few things more than when its artists rise to the top. Think Celine Dion. Think Cirque du Soleil. Think way back even to Mitsou. They are the cream-of-the-crop from a tiny French-speaking society that continues climbing within the seemingly bottomless pitcher that is the world. Think more recently of Academy Award-nominated films like Monsieur Lazhar, Incendies and Barney’s Version. Here, you will find the common link that has Quebec’s actors, writers, directors and technicians — not to mention the newly elected Parti Québécois government — terribly concerned.
An ethics expert is questioning the motives of Canada's broadcast regulators, after it was revealed that the CRTC vice-chairman was a guest in Bell's corporate suite at a hockey game late last year. With the CRTC currently reviewing their decision of Bell's takeover of Astral Media, let's remind them that the best interests of Canadians come first. Sign and share our petition at StopTheTakeover.ca. Article by Danny Joncas for The Toronto Sun Nine months after his appointment as vice-chairman of broadcasting at the Canadian Radio-Television and telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Tom Pentefountas placed himself in an awkward situation by spending an evening in Bell's corporate box at the arena that bears its name. Bell confirmed that Pentefountas attended a Canadiens match at the Bell Centre in the telecom giant's loge on Dec. 8, 2011.
Are you an independent entity or have you become a low-level subsidiary of Bell Media? Rick Mercer helps to show how you can swab the takeover to find out if Bell's expanding reach has taken its effect. Join our StopTheTakeover.ca campaign and let your voice be heard. Together, let's tell our broadcast regulators that the side-effects of Bell's takeover are bad for Canadian choice.
As part of a larger campaign to spread awareness about communications issues in Canada, we at OpenMedia.ca have been encouraging students at universities and colleges across Canada to run OpenMedia.ca clubs on their campuses. These clubs work on a variety of outreach, organizing, and public education activities—including speaking events, film screenings, hosting educational workshops—but this fall, OpenMedia McGill club started their semester with a bang: they sat in on a part of the CRTC hearing on Bell’s takeover of Astral Media. Here’s what they reported back:
Bell has made it clear that should their takeover of Astral Media go through, they would use 'tangible benefits' (an owed tax on the $3.4B purchase) to fund the expansion of their subsidiary Northwestel. Having already received annual CRTC payments of $20M to invest in their aging infrastructure, Bell has been criticized for mismanaging funds that could have prevented last week's communications outage. Speak out at StopTheTakeover.ca and help tell the CRTC that Bell's ascending vertical integration is bad for Canadians. Article from CBC News Yukon’s massive communications shutdown Thursday has some thinking it's time to upgrade the territory's aging telecommunications infrastructure. Andrew Robulack, an IT analyst and blogger in Whitehorse, said the latest outage is disappointing but not surprising. "We have a really strong dependency on a really weak infrastructure — single provider in most cases, single network links in or out of our region — and as the CRTC pointed out recently, the equipment is aging,” he said.
Bell's escalating vertical integration is raising concern among Canadian citizens and scholars. Should their takeover of Astral Media receive approval by the CRTC, it will tighten Bell's grip on the communications market and limit Canadians with fewer media and telecom choices, higher prices and less opportunity for free speech. As the CRTC continues to review Bell's $3.4B purchase of Astral Media this week, we're continuing to amplify our voices against the deal at StopTheTakeover.ca.