Consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge has come out to bash Comcast Cable for what they term as bad behavior in their merger with NBC-Universal.
In a petition dated March 2 and addressed to the Federal Communications Commission to enforce merger conditions and its policies, Public Knowledge says Comcast‘s decision to exempt its online video service from its own data caps is precisely the type of behavior contemplated and barred by the Commission in the Merger Order.
“This behavior is also inconsistent with the intent of the FCCs 2015 Open Internet rules. As such, the
Commission must put a stop to this behavior and prevent it from being repeated in the future,” the petition reads in part. The petition accuses Comcast of using discriminatory billing practices to the disadvantage of its competitors in online video services.
“The Commission must enforce its policies and Comcast’s merger commitments. Comcast’s violations are not merely technical violations. As set out in this document, Comcast’s actions could harm consumers by turning the online video distribution marketplace from an open and competitive market to one dominated by cable incumbents such as Comcast,” they further note.
Public Knowledge is now requesting that the Commission stops Comcast’s discriminatory zero-rating, stop its discriminatory use of data caps, and takes any other enforcement actions it deems necessary. “Comcast is already a dominant, vertically-integrated national video distributor, and the nation’s largest broadband provider. But this is not enough for Comcast. It is currently taking steps to further expand its dominance into new markets such as the market for online video,” the petition says in part.
“But rather than competing fairly, among other things, it is leveraging its control over content and infrastructure to give its own new online video service, Stream TV, advantages that put competing, unaffiliated online video services at a disadvantage.”