Google’s Schmidt to CRTC: Let Consumers Decide Future of TV, Embrace Startups

Google chairman Eric Schmidt (and former Apple board member) visited Canada for the first time yesterday and was eager to share his opinion on the regulation of internet services and TV broadcasting rules current being debated by the CRTC.

Schmidt told The Globe and Mail says governments need to stop protecting incumbent industries from new innovative startups (Netflix and Uber come to mind), such as the booming popularity of user-generated content on the company’s YouTube service.

“I think the evidence is that governments around the world are heavily influenced by both political matters, but also incumbency in one form or another,”


“We’re taking the position that governments need to ultimately serve their citizens by giving the citizens choices, and the market will sort it out.”

The CRTC has been holding hearings on the future of television, pondering regulation for online services. When Google and Netflix refused to disclose Canadian viewership numbers to the commission, the latter eventually struck their testimony from the record.

The Google chairman stressed the Canadian government and its leaders “need to understand that job growth and the economic growth of Canada is completely dependent upon all those young startups,” adding “Getting them nurtured, getting them happy, giving them global markets and giving them what they need to build global platforms.”

Schmidt is in Toronto for the week to promote his new book How Google Works, while he also attended Codemakers, an Actua-led projected funded in part by a $1.5 million grant from Google.

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