Netflix urge regulators to reject AT&T - DirectTV deal

Internet video service asks US Federal Communication to restrain the $49bn proposed purchase

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Netflix is asking US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reject proposed $49B AT&T purchase of DirectTV unless some restrictions are made.

According to Netflix, the deal will push AT&T to use its ability to protect its investment, which will harm other players.

“These two dynamics create a powerful incentive for AT&T to protect its investment in DirectTV ,” Netflix said in a letter.

If approved, uniting a telecom giant with the satellite company will create a behemoth of the largest television distributor in the US with 26 million subscribers, surpassing Comcast.

Netflix also claimed that AT&T is already hindering customers’ access to their services. The company voiced concerns that AT&T would be largest Internet Service Provider in the country if the deal materializes.  

“Such market power creates new incentives and abilities to harm entities that AT&T perceives as competitive threats, and will exacerbate the anticompetitive behavior in which AT&T has already engaged,” Netflix said in the filing.

However, Netflix was not completely opposing the purchase but rather seeking restrictions.

“While we are participating in the government’s review, we are not opposing the merger. We’ve been highlighting concerns about AT&T’s broadband practices and the need for appropriate remedies since last September,” the spokesperson told Financial Times

Last month AT&T’s rivals, Comcast’s Time Warner Cable TV, bid collapsed under regulatory scrutiny, many believed that Netflix played a central role.

TRTWorld and agencies