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Canada demands Google, Netflix data, sets deadline

Google logo/FILE

Google logo/FILE

Canada’s broadcast regulator gave American companies Google and Netflix a three-day deadline to turn over subscriber data or have their testimony expunged from a major public hearing, media reported.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been in a rare showdown with the Internet giants, after they refused to share the data earlier this month.

The CRTC has been holding a series of hearings on the future of television regulation in Canada, after its latest report showed Canadians are watching more and more content over the Internet.

In a letter sent to Google and Netflix on Monday, the CRTC gave the companies until Thursday to provide information on their activities, such as user numbers and investment in Canadian productions, The Globe and Mail newspaper reported.

Refusal to comply will result in removal of the companies’ testimony from the public record, effectively deleting the tech giants’ sway in a major Canadian hearing about the state of television.

CRTC Secretary General John Traversy told the companies that their refusal to share data “is a serious matter” and that large companies “cannot unilaterally decide which part of the evidence-gathering proceeding they want to participate in,” The Globe and Mail reported.

The CRTC, Google and Netflix, were not immediately available for comment. However, The Globe and Mail said both companies expressed intention not to comply with the demand.

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