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Netflix speaks out against Comcast–Time Warner megadeal

'Oh, and by the way, we're raising our fees as well'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Video service Netflix has officially come out in opposition of a potential merger between Comcast and Time Warner.

The company said in its latest earnings report that the potential for a combined Comcast and Time Warner network would result in the extraction of "unprecedented fees" from Netflix and other streaming services.

"If the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger is approved, the combined company's footprint will pass over 60 percent of U.S. broadband households, after the proposed divestiture, with most of those homes having Comcast as the only option for truly high-speed broadband (>10Mbps)," CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells said in a letter to shareholders [PDF] released alongside the company's quarterly report.

"As DSL fades in favor of cable internet, Comcast could control high-speed broadband to the majority of American homes," they wrote.

The objection from Netflix comes alongside an announcement from the company that it will be raising the price of its streaming service for new customers by one to two dollars per month, depending on country. The company said that the increased costs will go towards acquiring additional content and improving streaming on the service.

Netflix has previously clashed with service providers over the performance of its streaming video content. Earlier this year, word surfaced that the company had paid Comcast to ensure bandwidth access for its services.

Netflix later entered into a public spat with AT&T over the issue of net neutrality and uninhibited access to streaming video services. The company made a point of needling AT&T in its letter to shareholders on Monday.

"The positive is that Comcast is providing a much improved Netflix experience to their broadband subscribers, and now nearly all cable internet households receive great quality internet video," said Hastings and Wells.

"The surprising news is that AT&T fiber-based U-verse has lower performance than many DSL ISPs, such as Frontier, CenturyLink and Windstream."

The comments come amidst and otherwise promising quarterly report for Netflix. The company beat analyst earnings expectations and posted a net income of $53m on the quarter. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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