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Chasing Asper: The CRTC's Changing Stance on Convergence Through the Evolution of the Canadian Media Industry

Dec 1, 2002

Overview

This paper examines recent CRTC decisions concerning media convergence and speculates on the Commission’s role in a world of increasing cross-media ownership.

  • The CRTC set a precedent for convergence within Canada by allowing CanWest Global to take over Western International Communications stations in Hamilton and Victoria, giving the company control over more than one station in a single market.  Similar decisions permitting convergence have followed, to the benefit of companies such as BCE and Québecor.
  • The CRTC has been affected by internal politics and confusion over its future policies and direction
  • With increasing convergence, the CRTC’s mandate is often perceived to overlap with that of the Competition Bureau
  • The CRTC’s commitment to balancing regulation for the public interest and convergence for commercial interests will nonetheless ensure its importance in Canadian media in the future.

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