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Netflix Good With Charter-TWC DealConditions

Netflix offered its support of the conditions placed on the now-approved merger of Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable, which prevents New Charter from applying broadband caps and interconnection fees.

"Charter’s commitment to an open Internet without interconnection fees or data caps will foster innovation and promote the efficient scaling of the Internet,” Netflix said, in a statement issued Friday. “In applying this policy as a condition across the “New Charter” footprint, the FCC has made sure the merger will support growing consumer demand for all streaming video services."

Netflix, which had railed against the now-scuttled proposed marriage of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, volunteered its support for the Charter-TWC deal in July, when Charter pledged to extend its “settlement-free’ interconnection policy to the systems it would be acquiring from TWC and Bright House Communications. Netflix reluctantly entered paid interconnection deals with Comcast, TWC, AT&T and Verizon Communications (Bright House has been benefiting from the TWC-Netflix agreement), arguing that they violate network neutrality rules.

The conditions on the Charter-TWC deal, which will be in place for seven years, prohibit the combined company from using data caps or usage-based pricing for broadband, and from striking paid, interconnection fees, as well as from anticompetitive programming contracts that would put online video distributors (OVDs) at a disadvantage.  Per those conditions, New Charter must also adhere to the FCC's Open Internet rules no matter what the court decides.