AT&T/DirecTV to FCC: Critics Are Off Base; OK Deal

In joint comments at the FCC, AT&T and DirecTV have asked the FCC to reject petitions to deny their proposed deal and approve the merger ASAP.

As with Comcast's reply to its Time Warner Cable deal critics, AT&T dismisses Netflix's criticisms of their paid peering deal.

Netflix seeks to use this proceeding to rehash misleading allegations about AT&T’s prior conduct," the companies said in the filing. "Those claims are not only irrelevant to this transaction; they are inaccurate. AT&T did not, as Netflix asserts, allow Netflix traffic to become congested. Rather, Netflix’s own business decisions caused its traffic to spike to the point where it was overtaxing the connections Netflix had selected to route its traffic to AT&T’s network. To resolve this issue, AT&T and Netflix entered into a commercially reasonable long-term contract under terms favorable to Netflix. Now, even by Netflix’s own account, the new arrangement is working well for Netflix and its customers. Nothing about this history suggests the need to apply conditions on this transaction."

Comcast has also argued that it was Netflix dumping the traffic as part of its larger effort to shift the cost for carrying its content onto the backs of others. Netflix has complained that the paid peering deals were essentially under duress and to prevent ISPs from slowing or degrading its traffic.

Read more at B&C here.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.