Over the weekend AT&T and Time Warner rushed a deal through that would sell Time Warner to AT&T. It’s a deal that is raising eyebrows around the industry including at Netflix.
“We want to require that for AT&T customers, that HBO and Netflix are treated the same,” Hastings, Netflix’s CEO told CNBC in an interview at the event. “Now that they’re going to own HBO we think that any special treatment for HBO data would be inappropriate, but I think that’s pretty basic.”
“There’s a lot of AT&T investment in content, that could make things tougher,” said Hastings. “On the other hand it’s probably going to get easier for us to recruit Time Warner executives, which are a very talented bunch.”
Netflix is clearly worried that AT&T will try to block content from going to Netflix in an effort to keep it for their competing HBO Now. They also seem worried that AT&T will give HBO Now an unfair advantage by offering free data to anyone who uses the service.
These are all real fears for Netflix and should be fears for most cord cutters. For now all Netflix and cord cutters can do is hope that the FCC will take a close look at this deal.
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