Canadian communications group BCE has pulled over $6.3 million (€7.1m; £4.3m) of advertising from the media properties of rival Quebecor in a rapidly escalating dispute between the two.
The row was started by Quebecor’s accusation in a letter to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission that BCE’s satellite-TV unit Bell ExpressVu was being subsidised by its telephone company Bell Canada.
BCE denied the charge that it is competing unfairly, countering that Bell ExpressVu provides consumer choice against Quebecor’s cable-TV provider Videotron Group.
The two parties are also squabbling over access to Videotron’s inside wiring in multi-unit buildings. This was recently sold to Quebecor unit Cablage QMI, which subsequently put up the prices for third-party users such as BCE – a matter the CRTC is investigating. Not only that, they are arguing over fees due for BCE’s speciality channels.
In the latest development, BCE is withdrawing over $2.5m of ads in Quebecor’s newspapers (including the Journal de Montreal, the country’s biggest French-language paper) with immediate effect; $2.5m on TVA network in 30–45 days’ time; and $1.3m on other media properties such as Canoe.ca.
Data sourced from: AdAgeGlobal.com; additional content by WARC staff