Netflix hits the Hill

The online streaming service hires a team of lobbyists to promote its interests in Ottawa.

As Canadian cable giants look to slow Netflix’s Canadian expansion, the U.S. video streaming giant has hired a team of Ottawa lobbyists.

‘As the market grows and continues to be dynamic, we want to ensure we have the right people involved in the dialogue at the policy-setting and regulatory level,’ says Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey.

According to the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada, Netflix has hired Heenan Blaikie’s Subrata Bhattacharjee, Lynne Hamilton of the GCI Group and former Ottawa bureaucrats Jan Skora and Leonard St-Aubin to promote its interests with the CRTC and the federal government.

Netflix’s Swasey insisted Canadians are getting good value from a $7.99-per-month video streaming service, even as cable and satellite TV giants like Rogers and BCE attempt to thwart the Canadian expansion by introducing usage-based billing for internet users.

The federal cabinet is poised to overturn a recent CRTC ruling on internet fee charges that would have seen the end of unlimited online data packages by wholesale internet service providers.

From Playback Daily