DoJ to probe US cable’s online grip

The US Department of Justice is to probe cable providers’ power over how and where consumers can access television over the Internet, according to the WSJ.

The investigation has been sparked by cable cos control of the last mile, which will be enhanced if Verizon ceases to be a fixed line competitor in the deal for it to buy cable cos spectrum. The DoJ is in the course of deciding whether the spectrum deal is anti-competitive.

The WSJ reports that video providers like Netflix say that the DoJ has been asking questions over issues like data caps and deals that cable providers sign with content companies. It is also looking at authentication for access to TV Everywhere services. The concern is that cablecos dual control over access and content amounts to a market control that will prevent competition and innovation.

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