Melanie Aitken, now-former head of the Competition Bureau, slammed Bell for using the ‘domestic champion’ argument to justify the growing concentration of Canadian broadcasting and the vertical integration of content producers delivery providers.
Bell claims that Canada “needs companies with the scale to compete against foreign content companies like Netflix, Apple, Google and Amazon,” but Aitken says this attempt at invoking nationalism to justify the centralization media ownership is just “wrapping a deal in the flag”.
According to the Globe and Mail, the Astral takeover will give Bell control of more than 100 radio stations and almost 90 television channels, which creates huge a profit incentive for Bell as a service provider to push content that it owns or restrict access to other content it doesn’t control.
We’ve been pushing hard to bring together opposition to this takeover, which will limit media options, drive up prices, and limit free speech, as well as leading to job cuts. Bell is trying to brand itself as a domestic champion, but its actions are bad for consumers, and bad for our economy.
Originally posted at http://openmedia.ca/blog/bell-no-%E2%80%98domestic-champion%E2%80%99