Questions and answers
Should TELUS buy a content provider to stay competitive with its peers?
With Shaw buying the television assets of Canwest at the end of 2010 and BCE's pending acquisition of CTV in 2011, control of content has been a keenly discussed, high-profile issue for the industry, the regulator and TELUS. Our company's differentiated approach is consistent with our content strategy, which is to aggregate, integrate and make accessible the best content and applications for our 12 million customers, through whichever device or platform they choose.
TELUS believes that it is not necessary to own content to make it accessible to our customers on an economically attractive basis. We also believe that owning content could limit the audience for that content through exclusive arrangements or have a potential detrimental impact on other content supplier relationships. Our core competencies do not currently include producing and distributing content, and to attempt this could expose our company to additional operational risk.
In addition, it is important to realize that the Canadian content assets involved in recent acquisition transactions are primarily legacy broadcast media properties. They do not necessarily reflect the shift to new media and user-driven interactive applications such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and the newest enabling platforms such as Android and Apple that allow consumers to personalize and consume content on demand.
The CRTC has scheduled a public policy hearing in June 2011 on the effects of consolidation and vertical integration in the Canadian broadcasting industry, with the aim of putting in place norms for commercial interaction that would provide all players with a fair opportunity to negotiate terms and conditions, including rates, related to the carriage of programming, services and content. TELUS is encouraged that the CRTC has recognized the importance of competition in the carrier market and is seeking to implement appropriate safeguards against self-dealing and anti-competitive behaviour with respect to content.
While many of our peers are investing billions of dollars to own and produce content, TELUS continues to focus investments on enhancing our advanced broadband and wireless networks and service capabilities so that our customers can readily access all of the content available in this increasingly Internetconnected and content-rich world.