Canada seeks $630 million from streaming firms to fund domestic content

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By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada introduced a bill on Tuesday that would strengthen the broadcast regulator and allow it to collect up to C$830 million ($630 million) by 2023 from online streaming companies such as Netflix <NFLX.O> and Amazon <AMZN.O> to fund Canadian content.
The Liberal government said the changes were needed because tech firms, which provide wildly popular online services, are exempt from rules obliging domestic broadcasters to spend a proportion of programming budgets and allocate a set portion of air time to Canadian artists.
“Our government believes that everyone who benefits from the system should contribute to it fairly,” Heritage Minister Stephen Guilbeault told reporters.
The idea of strengthening the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which regulates the broadcast and telecoms sectors, was recommended by a government-mandated panel probing …

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