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Netflix Hires Lobbyists to Help with Canadian Expansion

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Netflix Canada launched last Fall and its growth currently outpaces Netflix in the US (their recent two year content deal with CBS excludes Canada). The company reported that its Canadian operation is slated to be profitable during the third quarter. It’s not easy being Netflix in Canada though, as issues of user-based billing for Internet bandwidth and calls of broadcasting fees are potential road blocks for growth.

Netflix Commits to its Canadian Expansion by Hiring Former Telecom Regulators as Lobbyists

How can Netflix make their voice heard to the federal government? Easy–hire lobbyists like everyone else on the Hill. But not just any lobbyists–former director generals from the federal department that oversees the telecommunications industry.

Search records from the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada show that Leonard St-Aubin and Jan Skora (TekSavvy is a current client) have been hired to advise Netflix. In terms of choosing the appropriate lobbyists for the job, the background of these individuals appear to be the perfect fit.

Here are the active records below:

Bloomberg:

Steve Swasey, a Netflix spokesman, confirmed the appointments and declined to comment on the specific work St-Aubin and Skora will be doing for the Los Gatos, California- based company.

“It’s an evolving market and Netflix is new in Canada,” said Swasey. He said the company’s staff and infrastructure are based in the U.S. “We want to have the right people on the ground in the discussions.”

…Subrata Bhattacharjee, a Toronto-based competition lawyer with Heenan Blaikie LLP, and Lynne Hamilton of GCI Group Inc. have also been hired to lobby for Netflix, Swasey said.

Netflix is getting serious about its investment in Canada. By hiring two former telecommunications heavyweights, Netflix’s corner has certainly gotten stronger. Throw in a competition lawyer and one of Canada’s Top 100 Lobbyists, and you could have the perfect recipe for success.

What do you think of these recent hires by Netflix?

Don’t forget to try out Netflix Canada–click here for a free month trial.

[Bloomberg]

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  • This is great news! A real first stepping stone to really ramping up Canadian service other then just words.
    I know there is a lot of red tape in these areas, but its really awesome to see such a big step taken here.

  • Anonymous

    Whatever gets me True Blood faster, tbh…

  • Jamil

    If the CRTC and Parliament won’t listen to consumer demands, they’ll cave in to the corporate demand of Netflix. Let’s hope for a complete UBB ban! (over-optimistic?) 🙂

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