September 27, 2011 / 8:56 PM / 9 years ago

Time is up for head of Canada's telecoms regulator

* Government will not reappoint CRTC head

* No reason given, but government had clashed with him

OTTAWA, Sept 27 (Reuters) - The Canadian government will not reappoint Konrad von Finckenstein as chairman of the federal communications regulator, with whom it has clashed in recent years over Internet billing and foreign telecom investment.

“We thank Mr. von Finckenstein for his service as chair of the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission),” Heritage Minister James Moore, said on Tuesday.

Moore gave no reason for not reappointing von Finckenstein, who will serve out the rest of his five-year term as head of the CRTC until January.

The Conservative government overruled the CRTC in December 2009 on its decision to block foreign-backed Globalive from launching a Canadian wireless service.

Von Finckenstein had ruled that Globalive’s financial support from Egypt’s Orascom Telecom ORTE.CA made it ineligible to operate in Canada because of restrictions on foreign ownership of telecom companies.

The government determined instead that Globalive was a Canadian company, albeit with some foreign investment. That resulted in a long-running battle that saw an appeals court rule in favor of Ottawa in June. [ID:nN08262139]

The government also overruled a CRTC decision this year that would have allowed big Internet companies to implement usage-based billing systems that would effectively have stopped small providers from offering customers unlimited downloads. [ID:nN03283625] (Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Rob Wilson)

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