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Note 27 Commitments and contingencies

Note 27 Commitments and contingencies


The following table is a summary of our contractual obligations at December 31, 2016 that are due in each of the next five years and thereafter.

  NOTE   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   THERE-

Operating leases

    297   242   195   157   123   363   1,377  

Commitments for property, plant and equipment and intangible assets

    994   745   608   460   385   1,122   4,314  

Purchase obligations

    828   585   551   460   444   1,129   3,997  

Proposed acquisition of MTS(1)

3   3,068             3,068  

Acquisition of Cieslok Media(2)

3   161             161  


    5,348   1,572   1,354   1,077   952   2,614   12,917  


BCE’s significant operating leases are for office premises, cellular tower sites, retail outlets, and OOH advertising spaces with lease terms ranging from 1 to 50 years. These leases are non-cancellable. Rental expense relating to operating leases was $353 million in 2016 and $340 million in 2015.

Our commitments for property, plant and equipment and intangible assets include program and feature film rights and investments to expand and update our networks to meet customer demand.

Purchase obligations consist of contractual obligations under service and product contracts for operating expenditures and other purchase obligations.




In the ordinary course of business, we become involved in various claims and legal proceedings seeking monetary damages and other relief. In particular, because of the nature of our consumer-facing business, we are exposed to class actions pursuant to which substantial monetary damages may be claimed. Due to the inherent risks and uncertainties of the litigation process, we cannot predict the final outcome or timing of claims and legal proceedings. Subject to the foregoing, and based on information currently available and management’s assessment of the merits of the claims and legal proceedings pending at March 2, 2017, management believes that the ultimate resolution of these claims and legal proceedings is unlikely to have a material and negative effect on our financial statements. We believe that we have strong defences and we intend to vigorously defend our positions.

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