Justice Department Investigating Cable Companies Regarding Online Video Treatment

Posted Jun 13, 2012

The government is investigating whether cable companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T are restricting competing online video companies like Netflix and Hulu by enforcing data caps. The Justice Department spoke to video providers like Netflix and Hulu and several cable companies regarding the probe. The cable companies said that the data caps are a way to deal with massive increases in traffic on their expensive networks. However the online video companies said that the caps are being used to limit competition for the cable companies’ own offerings.

The government is probing the Comcast Xfinity app. Comcast said that using the Xfinity app will not count against a subscriber’s data usage in the same way that Netflix or Hulu would. If this government finds that this is against anti-trust rules, it could mean that Comcast is in violation of their agreements that cleared them for acquiring NBCUniversal.