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Netflix Supports Charter-Time Warner Cable Merger

Netflix, one of the highest-profile corporate opponents of Comcast’s proposed merger with Time Warner Cable, has thrown its support behind Charter Communications’ acquisition of TW Cable.

In a filing with the FCC, Netflix said that it supports the deal because Charter won’t charge companies to connect to its network.

In its public interest statement with the FCC, Charter said that it would “continue to engage in reasonable and non-discriminatory interconnection and submit any interconnection disputes to the FCC for resolutions on a case-by-case basis.”

Netflix said that Charter’s “new peering policy is a welcome and significant departure from the efforts of some ISPs to collect access tolls across the Internet.”

Netflix opposed Comcast’s bid to acquire TW Cable, complaining that Comcast demanded fees for expanding capacity so that the Netflix signal was not degraded to subscribers. Comcast and other ISPs have accused Netflix of skewing the issue, and that all Internet subscribers shouldn’t have to bear the cost of Netflix traffic.

But the cable giant eventually abandoned its bid after it became clear that federal regulators would try to block it.

“Charter’s policy will promote efficient interconnection with online content providers and with the transit and content delivery services that smaller online content providers rely on to reach their consumers,” Netflix’s Christopher Libertelli, vice president of global public policy, wrote in the filing. “Charter’s endorsement of the policy as an enforceable merger condition will ensure that consumers will receive the fast connection speeds that they expect.”

Netflix said that it will support the merger if the FCC incorporates Charter’s merger condition.

As part of its proposed merger, Charter has said that it will abide by the FCC’s new net neutrality rules but also go further by agreeing to refrain from imposing data caps or usage-based pricing.

Charter’s proposed merger was announced in May.

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