Netflix Sets the Record Straight on its $500 Million Canadian Investment

Just over a week ago, the Federal Government announced Netflix would invest $500 million CAD investment in Canada over five years, with the latter creating a production arm here to produce TV and movies in both French and English, to be distributed globally (an additional $25 million will be invested to further emphasize French-language content and community support).

Some have criticized the Netflix deal, so the company has posted details on its media blog for “setting the record straight”.

Netflix wants to make clear of the following:

  • Their recent price increase was planned “a long time ago” and has nothing to do with their investment or commitments
  • No tax deals were made as part of the Canadian investment
  • Netflix says under Canadian law, “foreign online services like Netflix aren’t required to collect and remit sales tax.”

The company reiterated it’s an online media service, not a broadcaster, which means they are not subject to media regulations such as quotas or content levies, while also “not eligible for the regulatory benefits that traditional media enjoy.” The company details how the CRTC decided in 1999—before Netflix had streaming services—these regulations would not apply to online-based media.

Netflix explains “We don’t use public property like broadcast spectrum or rights of way and we don’t receive the regulatory protections and benefits that broadcasters get (and, by the way, we’re not asking for them).”

Corie Wright, Netflix’s Director, Global Public Policy, concludes by saying “our commitment marks a long term investment in Canada — not just a next week, next month, or next year investment.”

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