ARCHIVED -  Telecom Public Notice CRTC 97-14

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 Telecom Public Notice

 Ottawa, 25 April 1997
 Telecom Public Notice CRTC 97-14
1.  In Cellular Radio - Adequacy of Structural Safeguards, Telecom Decision CRTC 87-13, 23 September 1987 (Decision 87-13) and Rogers Cantel Inc. v. Bell Canada - Marketing of Cellular Service, Telecom Decision CRTC 92-13, 29 June 1992 (Decision 92-13), the Commission established restrictions regarding the joint marketing by telephone companies of cellular products and services with other services of the telephone company. These restrictions currently apply to all Stentor companies (i.e., BC TEL, Bell Canada (Bell), The Island Telephone Company Limited, MTS NetCom Inc., Maritime Tel & Tel Limited (MT&T), The New Brunswick Telephone Company, Limited, NewTel Communications Inc., and TELUS Communications Inc.).
2.  In Regulation of Mobile Wireless Telecommunications Services, Telecom Decision CRTC 96-14, 23 December 1996, the Commission extended these restrictions with respect to the provision of other wireless services such as Personal Communications Services, Enhanced Specialized Mobile Radio, and satellite-based mobile services.
3.  In Regulatory Framework for the Independent Telephone Companies in Quebec and Ontario (Except Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, Québec-Téléphone and Télébec ltée), Telecom Decision CRTC 96-6, 7 August 1996 and Regulatory Framework for Québec-Téléphone and Télébec ltée, Telecom Decision CRTC 96-5, 7 August 1996, the application of the joint marketing restrictions was extended to the independent telephone companies subject to these Decisions.
4.  The Commission notes that the restrictions commonly referred to as "the joint marketing restrictions" are actually a series of safeguards designed to prevent a wireline telephone company from conferring on itself or its cellular affiliate an undue preference or advantage, contrary to subsection 27(2) of the Telecommunications Act (the Act). These safeguards include: (1) a prohibition on joint marketing and advertising; (2) a requirement for neutral customer referrals; (3) a prohibition on the exchange of confidential customer information; and (4) a prohibition on the cross-subsidization of cellular services by wireline services.
5.  The Commission notes that its approach toward joint marketing has evolved considerably, largely reflecting developments in the market, since Decisions 87-13 and 92-13 were released.
6.  For example, in Canadian Association of Message Exchanges Inc. v. Bell Canada - Marketing of Paging Services, Telecom Decision CRTC 95-16, 15 August 1995, the Commission decided not to extend the joint marketing restrictions to the distribution of paging products and services on the basis that, among other things, the paging market is mature and competitive, with a large number of service providers.
7.  In a letter dated 16 September 1996, the Commission expressly allowed MT&T to distribute its wireline services through MT&T Mobility outlets.
8.  In a letter dated 15 November 1996, the Commission allowed Bell to distribute Bell Mobility's Liberti cellular phones through Bell's Phonecentres/Téléboutiques. In its Decision, the Commission noted that although Bell has a monopoly in local telephony, it does not have a monopoly on the distribution channels under review and its Phonecentres compete with other distribution channels for the sale and marketing of cellular products.
9.  In Bell Canada and Bell Sygma Inc. - Joint Marketing of Sympatico Internet Services, Telecom Decision CRTC 97-1, 13 January 1997, the Commission noted that the distribution of Bell Sygma's Internet products and services through Bell's Phonecentres would not constitute the conferral of an undue preference on Bell Sygma. Among other things, the Commission noted that Bell represents only one among many distribution channels for Internet software, such that any preference would not be undue.
10.  In each of these Decisions, the Commission focused on the ability of the telephone company to confer an undue preference, contrary to subsection 27(2) of the Act. Where the circumstances were such that any preference given was not undue, the Commission did not impose one or more of the joint marketing restrictions.
11.  The Commission seeks comments on whether, in light of developments in the market-place since Decisions 87-13 and 92-13 were issued, it is appropriate to continue to impose on the Stentor member companies and independent telephone companies the joint marketing restrictions set out in those Decisions.
12.  Persons wishing to participate in this proceeding must notify the Commission of their intention to do so by writing to Mr. Allan J. Darling, Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, fax: (819) 953-0795, by 2 June 1997. The Commission will then issue a complete list of parties and their mailing addresses.
13.  Parties may file comments with the Commission, serving copies on all other parties, by 30 June 1997.
14.  Parties may file reply comments by 14 July 1997.
15.  In addition to hard copy filings, parties are encouraged to file with the Commission electronic versions of their submissions in accordance with the Commission's Interim Telecom Guidelines for the Handling of Machine-Readable Files, dated 30 November 1995. The Commission's Internet email address for electronically filed documents is Electronically filed documents can be accessed at the Commission's Internet site at
16.  Where a document is to be filed or served by a specific date, the document must be actually received, not merely mailed, by that date.
 This document is available in alternative format upon request.
 Allan J. Darling
Secretary General
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