Bell would have too much control over content and the potential to negatively affect consumers and competitors if it's allowed to buy Astral Media, Telus Corp. said Thursday.
Telus was the latest telecom rival to tell the CRTC that Bell's acquisition of the speciality TV channel and radio broadcaster shouldn't be allowed, or if it is approved it must have conditions and restrictions.
"Consumers want to buy rights for all content on all platforms," Telus executive Ann Mainville-Neeson said Thursday after making her company's case to the broadcast regulator.
"They want to watch TV on their TV, on their mobile devices, on their tablets, on their laptops. When Bell goes out to the studios, it buys content rights that way and we want to be able to buy them from Bell in that way and from other vertically integrated companies."
Telus said Bell is trying to sell its content in pieces, making negotiations more difficult and expensive.
"Adding significant new assets to Bell's content portfolio through approval of this acquisition of Astral will only make matters worse," Mainville-Neeson, director of broadcast regulation at Telus, told the CRTC.
Vancouver-based Telus provides cellphone, Internet and TV services, but doesn't own any media assets and must negotiate with Bell and others for programming content.
"It's really essential that we get all of these rights at one price," added Richard Stursberg, an adviser on entertainment strategy for Telus.
Telus disputed Bell's claim its price for content on all mobile platforms is $3 million a year and said it's more than $8 million.
"The point of all this is that Bell is already big, it has clear incentive to behave anti-competitively," said Mainville-Neeson.