Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos is in Israel and has met with President Isaac Herzog and Minister of Communications Yoaz Hendel at the president’s residence in Jerusalem. Sarandos is trying to convince Hendel not to move forward with legislation requiring international streaming services like Netflix to produce original material in Israel.
Sarandos heard what Israel is planning on the issue and he explained that legislation could harm Netflix’s plans to expand investment in Israel. Netflix is concerned about the precedent and Sarandos sought to explain how the company is already cooperating with local industry in buying content and why legislation could result in reduced investment.
The planned legislation follows the conclusions of the Folkman Committee that it creates unfair competition for Israeli TV companies that are required to invest in original productions, while the international streaming giants are not. Hendel told Sarandos that the legislation was designed to create an equal playing field for Israeli and international companies.
Sarandos’ visit was planned before it was known that the current Knesset was being dissolved. The Ministry of Communications had hoped that the new legislation would be part of the Economic Arrangements Bill that accompanies the 2023 budget but it is now unclear whether the legislation can be enacted this year.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on June 21, 2022.
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