Originally published: March 29, 2012
Last updated: April 5, 2012 - 9:10am
[Commentary] Michael Powell, former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and now the head of the National Cable Telecommunications Association (NCTA), professes confusion and consternation at our raising the alarm about Comcast’s decision to exempt its Xfinity ap for the XBox360 from its 250 GB bandwidth cap. Rather than addressing the issue, Powell basically argues that the only reason PK (or anyone else) could possibly see anything here to worry about is because we're either crazy alarmists or because we are "trying to get another bite at the regulatory apple."
In sports, we refer to this kind of behavior as 'working the ref.' Happily, we don’t have to take PK’s word for it that this kind of conduct raises some pretty serious competition questions worthy of examination. The Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DoJ) explained why conduct like this raises alarm bells back when Comcast bought NBCU last year. In fact, DoJ even put a merger condition directly on point.
Ah yes, here it is:
"If Comcast offers consumers Internet Access Service under a package that includes caps, tiers, metering, or other usage-based pricing, it shall not measure, count, or otherwise treat Defendants’ affiliated network traffic differently from unaffiliated network traffic. Comcast shall not prioritize Defendants’ Video Programming or other content over other Persons’ Video Programming or other content."
- The technical and legal realities of Comcast’s Xbox cap spat
- The FCC Must Prevent Comcast from Discriminating Against Online Video Competitors
- Netflix Not Buying Comcast Excuse about Xfinity Data
- Extra lane: how Comcast assures that Xfinity TV on Xbox 360 works well
- NCTA’s Powell: Antitrust allegations 'flatly wrong'
- Sen Franken questions Comcast XBox streaming as network neutrality violation
- Netflix CEO calls out Comcast on network neutrality
- Comcast Won't 'Cap' Xbox 360 Access
- Former FCC Chairman Michael Powell to lead Big Cable's lobbying group
- The Facts about Xfinity TV and Xbox 360: Comcast is Not Prioritizing
- Xbox Live Challenges Cable Box
- Be Very Afraid: The Cable-ization of Online Life Is Upon Us
- The questions Genachowski should be asking about data caps
- AT&T Exempts Itself From Its Data Cap, Violates (at least) the Spirit of Net Neutrality
- Powell, Hundt on Reclassification Debate