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Seagram sale to Vivendi could ignite new battle over foreign film distribution

News | 07/06/2000 4:00 am EDT

The US$30-billion takeover of Seagram Ltd by Vivendi SA and its subsidiary, the French pay TV network Canal Plus, is threatening to re-open the politically charged issue of allowing foreign film distributors into the Canadian market. The issue centres on PolyGram, which four years ago as a foreign-owned company, applied to Industry Canada for an exemption to Canada’s film distribution policy, in an attempt to set up distribution and production operations here. It was a contentious application that – to the relief of Industry minister John Manley and Heritage minister Sheila Copps – became a non-issue when Canadian-owned Seagram purchased PolyGram in late 1998.

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