Gee, do you think that Netflix publicly coming out against the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger has struck a nerve with Comcast? Within hours of Netflix declaring its opposition to the proposed $45 billion merger, Comcast came out with a statement that accused Netflix of relying on “inaccurate claims and arguments” to make its case.
In particular, Comcast accused Netflix of conflating net neutrality issues with the kinds of peering agreements that Comcast recently reached with Netflix to ensure higher streaming quality over Comcast’s network. The cable giant then went on to tout its own commitment to the “open Internet” by declaring that “there has been no company that has had a stronger commitment to openness of the Internet than Comcast and we are the only ISP in the country that is currently legally bound by the FCC’s vacated Net Neutrality rules.”
Of course, Comcast got in big trouble back in 2008 when the FCC found that it was throttling peer-to-peer applications such as BitTorrent without even explaining its traffic management policies to its customers or to regulators. What’s more, the only reason Comcast is bound by any net neutrality rules is because it had to swallow them as a precondition for its merger with NBC going through. Once those conditions expire, Comcast will be free to throttle its competitors’ traffic to its heart’s content, especially since the FCC’s net neutrality restrictions were overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia earlier this year.