CRTC sides with CBC in online music dispute with Stingray

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The CRTC has sided with the CBC after the launch of its online music portal, and said the pubcaster did not enjoy a market advantage when it launched CBC Music last February.

Dismissing a complaint by Stingray Digital Group (SDG), the regulator ruled the CBC “did not contravene the undue preference and disadvantage provision” of the CRTC’s new media exemption when it launched the online music service.

“… the commission considers that SDG has not demonstrated that the CBC has given anyone, including itself, a preference, or that it has subjected anyone to a disadvantage,” the CRTC ruled Tuesday.

CBC Music offers consumers 40 web radio stations, in competition with SDG and its online music service Stingray-music.com.

“CBC’s streaming channels are not differentiated in any meaningful way from the streaming channels that SDG provides, or that other private enterprises, such as Astral or Archambault, are also starting to provide,” SDG said in its original complaint to the CRTC.

The CBC told the CRTC it operated the CBC Music online service on “fair and equitable,” including paying residuals to SOCAN.

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