See also: 2008-8
Ottawa, 23 December 2010
This Information Bulletin replaces Broadcasting Circular 2008-8.
In this Information Bulletin, the Commission sets out the criteria by which it determines the most appropriate route to process transactions that give rise to a change in effective control or that involve a transfer of shares that must be approved by the Commission. It provides for three processes: the administrative route, the notice of consultation (notice of applications received) and the notice of consultation (notice of hearing). The Commission also sets out the criteria that it uses to determine the most appropriate public process related to transactions resulting in an acquisition of assets.
1. This Information Bulletin replaces Broadcasting Circular 2008-8. The changes reflect the naming of documents announced by the Commission in Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2009-1 and the new Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (SOR/2010‑277) (Rules of Procedure).
2. There are a number of processes available to the Commission to deal with applications for changes in effective control or certain transfers of shares of broadcasting undertakings and for applications resulting in an acquisition of assets.
3. In making determinations on the best processing route for any application, the Commission’s objective is to ensure fairness and transparency at all times while dealing with applications in the most efficient and timely manner.
4. The Commission places particular emphasis on changes in the effective control of broadcasting undertakings and, as such, has the discretion to decide for any application the route that will best serve the public interest.
5. In the following sections, the Commission sets out the criteria for processing applications for changes in effective control or certain transfers of shares and for applications resulting in an acquisition of assets.
6. The processing routes for applications for changes in effective control or certain transfers of shares of broadcasting undertakings (share transfer applications) are:
7. These processes apply to transactions that are described in section 11(4) of the Radio Regulations, 1986; section 14(4) of the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987; section 10(4) of the Specialty Services Regulations, 1990; section 6(4) of the Pay Television Regulations, 1990 and section 4(4) of the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations.
8. Applications processed through a Notice of Consultation, either as a notice of application received or as a notice of hearing, are subject to the Rules of Procedure. Applications processed through the administrative route are subject to the Rules of Procedure only with respect to the designation of information as confidential.
9. Applicants should use the Commission’s most recent application forms to file an application. The list of application forms is appended to Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-453-1, as amended from time to time. In the absence of an application form, applicants should submit a letter that includes all the relevant information set out in section 22(2) of the Rules of Procedure.
10. Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-453-1 also reiterates the requirement to file applications and related documents in electronic form using Access Key.
11. The procedures for filing confidential information are set out in sections 30 to 34 of the Rules of Procedure and in Information Bulletin 2010-961, and will be effective 1 April 2011.
12. For applications dealt with using the administrative approach, the Commission issues an information bulletin every two months summarizing the applications as well as the Commission’s determination. That information bulletin provides a link to the application and related documents, excluding any information designated as confidential.
13. As a general rule, the Commission undertakes to process share transfer applications as set out below.
14. Share transfer applications will be reviewed using the administrative route where:
the application does not raise any concerns with respect to Commission policies or regulations, including conditions of licence.
15. If the application filed by an applicant meets the criteria set out in this section, it will be examined by the Commission using the administrative approach.
16. Share transfer applications will be reviewed using a notice of consultation (notice of applications received) where the application:
17. Share transfer applications will be reviewed using a notice of consultation (notice of hearing) where the application:
18. A transaction resulting in an acquisition of assets requires the issuance of a new broadcasting licence. Section 18 of the Broadcasting Act requires that such an application be considered at a public hearing. Therefore, these applications are processed by way of Notice of Consultation (notice of hearing) pursuant to the Rules of Procedure.
19. Applications for acquisition of assets will generally be reviewed as non-appearing items where:
20. However, consistent with its approach for share transfer applications, the Commission may determine that such an application be scheduled as an appearing item if the importance of the transaction so warrants.
21. The routes set out above are designed to ensure that the Commission’s processes are conducted with fairness, transparency, predictability and timeliness.