Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) has urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to place "meaningful conditions" on the technology joint venture between Verizon Wireless and the cable companies attempting to sell the telco their wireless spectrum. Netflix says the joint venture, which is working on apps and services that can run on wired and wireless networks, could "choke off competition" from outside companies by discriminating against unaffiliated network traffic. Netflix wants the FCC to find out if the new entity intends to use data caps, tiers or "other forms of discrimination" against Netflix and other sources of Internet traffic that aren't associated with the Verizon Wireless/cable company combo.
In a related item, The Wall Street Journalreports that regulators are close to clearing the Verizon Wireless-cable US$3.9 billion spectrum deals after both sides agreed to limit the scope and duration of side service bundling agreements to five years or less, to allay antitrust concerns. The paper also corroborated earlier reports that Verizon Wireless and its cable pals have agreed not to co-market cable and wireless services where the MSO and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) compete for broadband, video and voice services. If that condition is applied, it could prevent Comcast and Verizon Wireless, for example, from hooking up in markets such as Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. (See Regulators Aim to Restrict Verizon/Cable Spectrum Sale and Sprint Wants to Snip the Verizon/Cable Bundle.)
Comcast is laying off 184 workers, primarily customer care employees, at its Tinley Park and Oakbrook facilities in October, but already has plans to hire 250 people in its Chicago region by year's end, reports the Chicago Tribune.
thePlatform Inc. , the Comcast-owned media publishing firm, is expanding its commitment in Australia and New Zealand with the appointments of Matt Moran as regional director, and Calvin Cheng as technical consultant. thePlatform says it's expanding its commitment to the region to meet demand for existing customers, including Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS)'s Big Pond, Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Sky New Zealand, and other companies in the region it's trying to hook.