Netflix, Inc. Denies Canadian Regulator’s Request For Data


Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), the U.S. based video-streaming company, received orders from CRTC on Friday, to furnish the sensitive business information before Monday evening. Netflix was threatened that if it did not comply with CRTC’s requirement then they would revoke the new media exemption for operating Netflix Canada, says a report from Hollywood Reporter.

Why Netflix denied the request?

The reason cited by Netflix for not complying with CRTC’s orders is that the company has not got any assurance from them that the business data relating to the Canadian subscriber numbers and local production expenditures, will remain confidential.

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“While Netflix has responded to a number of the CRTC’s requests, we are not in a position to produce the confidential and competitively sensitive information ordered by the commission due to ongoing confidentiality concerns,” Netflix spokeswoman Anne Marie Squeo said in a statement issued on Monday.

Netflix feared that the confidential business data provided by it could be misused by its competitors if they got their hands over it, and this prevented them from sharing it with CRTC, as informed to CRTC by the director of global policy for Netflix, Corie Wright. In a public hearings appearance, Wright said that no guarantee of information submitted to the commission remaining confidential was there. If the commission received a request from somebody for making its info public, and a public interest test was applied by a person then the information would not have remained confidential.

Suspense still prevails

The Canadian broadcasting law does not make CRTC’s orders applicable to Netflix, informed Anne. She added that Netflix is always in for working constructively with CRTC. On the other hand, CRTC believes that the risk of losing out on the new media exemption granted by the Canadian media regulator could force the U.S. Company to furnish the business information, believe CRTC.

Popular U.S. video portals operating in Canada, including Netflix, are not regulated by the federal government in Ottawa. It was informed by the federal heritage minister Shelly Grover that CRTC has refrained from taking the responsibility of regulating such services in the past.

“We will not allow any moves to impose new regulations and taxes on Internet video,” Glover added. No comment from CRTC could be obtained after Netflix’s denial to obeying the regulatory orders.