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Netflix's Hastings makes the case for Net neutrality

Though Netflix agreed last month to pay Comcast for direct access to its broadband network, it doesn't appear to like the arrangement.

The video-streaming service's CEO, Reed Hastings, penned a blog post on Thursday making an impassioned plea for support of Net neutrality.

"The Internet is improving lives everywhere -- democratizing access to ideas, services, and goods," Hastings wrote. "To ensure the Internet remains humanity's most important platform for progress, Net neutrality must be defended and strengthened. The essence of Net neutrality is that ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast don't … Read more

No penalty for Comcast if merger with Time Warner Cable fails

Comcast negotiated an easy escape hatch if regulators put too much heat on the $45.2 billion merger with Time Warner Cable, according to a regulatory filing Thursday.

According to the S4 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, Comcast will not owe Time Warner Cable a breakup fee if the deal falls through due to regulatory issues. The filing also indicated that Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus, who had only been on the job as CEO for two months before the merger was announced, will receive an $80 million severance package should the deal be completed … Read more

Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal faces probe from US states

Comcast will now have to deal with US states as well as the US Justice Department if it expects to win approval to buy Time Warner Cable.

Florida is part of a multistate group investigating the proposed merger to make sure if doesn't run afoul of antitrust laws, the Florida state attorney general's office told CNET on Wednesday.

"We are part of a multistate group reviewing the proposed transaction along with the U.S. DOJ Antitrust Division," the Florida state attorney general's office said to CNET in an e-mailed statement. "The matter is also … Read more

Comcast adds 18 live-streaming channels to Xfinity TV Go

Comcast has broadened its live-streaming channels on the Xfinity TV Go app.

The TV provider's app, which offers live streaming to mobile devices and online, says that A&E, Bravo, Food Network, Syfy, Travel Channel, and others have been added to its live-streaming lineup. In total, Xfinity TV Go has over 50 networks and includes On Demand programming for those who want to watch shows they might have missed.

Comcast is attempting to merge with Time Warner Cable in what would be a blockbuster deal between the companies. The firms are expected to face some criticism from lawmakers … Read more

Why a Comcast merger could be good for TWC customers

Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus thinks the $45.2 billion megamerger with Comcast is a win for Time Warner Cable subscribers.

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference in Palm Beach, Fla., earlier this week, Marcus called the deal a "dream combination" that allows the companies to "innovate at a rapid pace."

I know what you're thinking: Of course he likes this deal. His company is getting bought out for $45.2 billion. And Marcus, who is paid in excess of $10 million a year, is the guy who spearheaded this … Read more

Time Warner Cable CEO reiterates confidence in Comcast deal

Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus reiterated his confidence in getting regulatory approval for the $45.2 billion deal with Comcast, and he explained that Time Warner Cable shareholders and customers will both benefit from the deal.

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference in Palm Beach, Florida on Wednesday, Marcus said he expects the deal to close by the end of the year. And he didn't express any worry that regulators would take issue with it.

"I have every confidence that the deal will close," he said. "We wouldn't have signed … Read more

Comcast to offer 'House of Cards' to Xfinity customers

Comcast Xfinity customers will soon be able to watch the first season of "House of Cards" without need of a Netflix subscription.

The series comes to Comcast courtesy of a deal announced on Monday with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment that gives the cable company rights to sell the initial season, Variety has reported. Though Netflix holds the streaming rights for "House of Cards," Sony is in charge of distribution internationally and through home video.

"House of Cards" will make its debut in the Xfinity Store by mid-April, according to a Comcast spokesman.

The new … Read more

Rereading the tea leaves in the Netflix-Comcast deal

Ever since Netflix and Comcast announced an interconnection agreement aimed at improving streaming performance for Netflix users, commentators have been trying to read the tea leaves to determine what -- if anything -- this deal says about the future of the Internet and network relationships.

A few, including Dan Rayburn on Seeking Alpha, have hailed the agreement as a sign of the continued health of this largely unregulated market. (According to the multinational Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, more than 99 percent of interconnection deals are so straightforward that they're agreed to without a written contract.)

But most … Read more

Comcast extends 'Internet Essentials' program indefinitely

Cable giant Comcast announced Tuesday that it is voluntarily extending its Internet Essentials program, which provides subsidized broadband Internet service to low-income families in its service area, beyond its three-year commitment.

The company also announced that it's making more than $1 million in grants to 15 communities that have done the most to help close the digital divide. Comcast is also recognizing another five communities for being most improved. In these 20 recognized communities, eligible families that have not yet signed up for Internet Essentials, but qualify for the program, will be able to do so before March 18 … Read more

Comcast to buy video-ad platform FreeWheel for about $320M

Comcast is buying FreeWheel -- whose service is designed to help TV networks, film studios, and other content companies sell and manage in-video ads across numerous Web sites and devices -- for about $320 million, according to sources familiar with the deal.

FreeWheel's setup automatically allocates ad inventory, keeps track of ad revenue, and accounts for revenue splits between Web sites and content owners. It's also designed to help marketers place their ads more easily. It was founded by former executives of Internet-display-ad company DoubleClick, which was purchased by Google in 2007 for $3.1 billion.

FreeWheel's … Read more