Netflix fends off criticism over Canada investment

(Reuters) – Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) said on Tuesday it had received formal approval to start a C$ 500 million production unit in Canada and sought to quell talk that it had asked for special tax benefits for investing in its first such unit outside the United States.

The maker of Emmy-winning shows such as The Crown and Black Mirror said last month it was in talks with the Canadian government for an investment over a minimum of five years.

That decision was part of a broad review under Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, which included plans to modernize funding programs and review copyright, broadcasting and telecommunications legislation.

The government did not tax Netflix as some had proposed, opening the streaming service provider to criticism in Canada. (bit.ly/2wLo4Ma)

Netflix said on Tuesday its Canadian investment was approved under the Investment Canada Act, and that no tax deals were part of the approval to launch its new Canadian presence. But is also said it was not paying sales tax in line with existing Canadian laws.

“Netflix follows tax laws everywhere we operate. Under Canadian law, foreign online services like Netflix aren’t required to collect and remit sales tax,” said Corie Wright, Netflix’s director of global public policy. (nflx.it/2yBTf11)

The company also said it would spend an additional C$ 25 million ($ 20 million) over five years toward “market development” in the country, hosting recruitment drives and cultural events to boost the local production community.

Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee; editing by Patrick Graham and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Samsung says new U.S. offices are its ‘biggest investment in Silicon Valley’ to date

samsung-new-office-silicon-valley

Samsung officially opened the doors to its new 1.1-million-square-foot Silicon Valley offices Thursday, more than 30 years after its arrival in the San Jose tech corridor in 1983.

The building will house various research labs dedicated to semiconductors, LEDs and displays, staff in sales and marketing, and other support areas, the company said.

“[We are] laying the groundwork for a more aggressive pace of growth over the next several decades,” said Samsung’s chief executive, Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon, at the grand opening ceremony.

Meanwhile, the company’s president of its U.S.-based device solutions operations, Jaesoo Han, said that the move “represents a major milestone as we open our most strategically important Samsung facility in the U.S., and also our biggest investment in Silicon Valley.”

samsung-office

Samsung also announced that it has established a $ 1 million STEM College Education Scholarship Fund. In its own words:

Deserving university students who are currently enrolled in STEM-focused programs at a California State or University of California school will benefit from this program, beginning with a $ 50,000 gift to San Jose State University this year. Each scholarship will cover tuition and living expenses for one year.

But the announcement of the new office has been largely overshadowed by news in virtual reality today: We reported that the Samsung Gear VR will launch as a consumer product this November for $ 99. (You can read our full roundup from today’s Oculus event here.)

Earlier this week, Samsung unveiled its new fonts-inspired Serif TVs, and shared more about how it relies on startups to stay ahead on technological innovation.

If you happen to be passing through the area, Samsung’s new building certainly looks worth checking out.

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