Court orders Bell to pay $137M to Videotron, TVA

Satellite TV service Bell ExpressVu, a subsidiary of Bell, must pay compensation for failing to effectively fight piracy of its signals between 1999 and 2005, the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled.
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Satellite TV service Bell ExpressVu has been ordered to pay a total of $137 million in compensation to Quebecor subsidiaries Videotron and TVA Group as part of a long-running satellite signal piracy case heard by the Quebec Court of Appeal.

The March 6 decision, unveiled publicly by Quebecor on Monday, ruled Bell ExpressVu, a subsidiary of Bell today referred to as Bell TV, failed to effectively fight piracy of its satellite TV signals between 1999 and 2005, thus harming Videotron and TVA.

“We welcome this judgment, which condemns practices by Bell that had the effect of depriving its competitors, including Videotron and TVA Group, of customers and substantial revenues over a period of more than six years,” Pierre Dion, president and CEO of Quebecor and Quebecor Media, said Monday in a statement.

Bell was ordered to pay $82.3 million to Videotron and $404,000 to TVA Group for failing to stop illegal decoding of its satellite TV signals.

The satellite TV service’s total owed of $137 million includes interest and experts’ fees.

The Quebec Court of Appeal decision upheld a 2012 lower court ruling that concluded Bell TV failed to impose anti-piracy security measures.

BCE strongly disagrees with the Québec Court of Appeal’s decision and will seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, a spokesperson told Playback Daily.

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