Netflix Responds to Comcast: It’s ‘Extortion’ to Demand Payment for Delivering Video

Netflix

Netflix fired back at Comcast’s claims that the streaming-video company is among those seeking “extortionate” demands with the MSO’s proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable, as the war of words between the biggest cable company and No. 1 video-streaming service rages on.

“It is not extortion to demand that Comcast provide its own customers the broadband speeds they’ve paid for so they can enjoy Netflix,” Netflix said in a statement, responding to the cable company’s FCC filing Wednesday. “It is extortion when Comcast fails to provide its own customers the broadband speed they’ve paid for unless Netflix also pays a ransom.”

SEE ALSO: Comcast: Discovery, Other Critics Tried ‘Extortion’ Tactics to Stay Quiet on Merger

Comcast, in comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission, said Netflix’s complaints are not “transaction specific.” Netflix has argued that the FCC should reject the merger, warning that Comcast will be in a position to demand arbitrary fees from content companies to connect to its networks.

But Comcast noted that it reached an interconnection agreement with Netflix earlier this year, and in its filing quoted Netflix CEO Reed Hastings as saying, “We found middle ground on our issues that worked well for both of us for the long term, and works great for consumers.”

Netflix now says it “grudgingly paid to improve performance for our mutual customers, a precedent that remains damaging for consumers (who ultimately pay higher costs) and for other innovative businesses (that can be held over the barrel by Comcast to do the same),” the company said in its statement.

But according to Comcast, Netflix’s “expedient change of heart reflects nothing more than a base attempt to gain additional commercial advantages over Comcast through a regulatory condition that is unjustified and would be anything but ‘great’ for consumers,” the cable giant said in its filing.

Netflix countered that Comcast’s $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable would give it unprecedented control over the U.S. broadband market. “If the merger were to proceed, this one company, Comcast, would have control over high-speed residential Internet in a majority of American homes and that is clearly not ‘great’ for consumers,” Netflix said.

SEE ALSO: Netflix Makes Case for Rigorous ‘Title II’ Approach to Net Neutrality

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  1. tm says:

    netflix now extorting money out of long time supporters by charging if it is used on 2 screens.

  2. FedUpWith CorporateInterests says:

    ““It is not extortion to demand that Comcast provide its own customers the broadband speeds they’ve paid for so they can enjoy Netflix,” Netflix said in a statement, responding to the cable company’s FCC filing Wednesday. “It is extortion when Comcast fails to provide its own customers the broadband speed they’ve paid for unless Netflix also pays a ransom.”” (Reed Hastings, Netflix)

    I couldn’t agree more. As a consumer, I pay exorbitant rates to get ok-quality here in the US (compared to many other first world nations) for both broadband and cable channels. The entire industry is nothing more than organized crime at this point and care nothing about the customer. Until this country has a full free market competition in every nook and cranny, we will continue to see ransom demands from Comcast and the other big cable/broadband companies, both from providers and consumers.

    In particular, I, as a consumer, have already paid for my service, per the agreement between myself and my provider. The websites I visit should all be provided at the same agreed upon speed to me, without further payment from anyone, much less someone like Netflix.

    Net neutrality needs to happen, and needs to happen NOW. You hear this FCC? You work for the people, not the corporations. Make it happen NOW! Additionally, the majority of Americans disapprove of the Comcast/TWC merger. Block it. NOW.

    Have a nice day.

  3. AJ says:

    The internet being controlled by Comcast is a joke. I pay 130.00 per month for 55 mbps which isn’t 55 most of the time it is much lower. I don’t believe that Comcast should be able to regulate something that I am paying for. The government needs to allow competition. The only competition in my area is DSL which the best speed is 15mbps. I am praying google fiber gets here soon.

  4. Gotta say, I’m on Netflix’s side on this one.

  5. garry says:

    COMCAST SHOULD BE ARRESTED FOR ROBBERY. THE PRICE THEY CHARGE FOR THEIR SERVICE. AND THEY DON’T EVEN USE A GUN.

  6. Is Title II getting closer each and every day?

  7. Joe M says:

    There is no industry I want to see crumble more than ISP/Cable providers. They stand in the way of innovation and competition.

    Give me GOOGLE FIBER!!!!

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