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Netflix tells Sen. Al Franken it opposes Comcast merger too

Posted by: Allison Sherry under Morning Hot Dish newsletter, Minnesota U.S. senators, Democrats Updated: April 24, 2014 - 4:01 PM

WASHINGTON -- Netflix, the popular online movie and television company, told Sen. Al Franken Thursday that it opposes the Comcast/Time Warner merger, just like he does.

Franken reached out to Netflix to gauge the company's thoughts on "interconnection" -- the process by which content flows from providers through cable companies to consumers. He worries that the proposed merger would give Comcast enough power to act as a gatekeeper for traffic on the Internet.

Franken has been fighting the possible merger from his post on the Senate Judiciary Committee saying it will be bad for consumers and will result in fewer cable choices and higher prices.

Ultimately, the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission will make a decision on it. Franken likes to point out there are 100 some lobbyists working to make it happen in Washington, D.C.

From its own business perspective, Netflix obviously has interest in getting as many Americans as possible access to a high-speed Internet line, through which they could buy a streaming service. Netflix says about 70 percent of Americans have access to two, at best, options for fast enough Internet to stream video content.

Netflix's vice president of global public policy Christopher Libertelli wrote: "The proposed merger will result in online video content providers paying higher prices for access to Comcast consumers or delivering poorer service to customers who depend on Comcast for broadband access."

"Ultimately, competition and consumers will suffer," Libertelli said in the letter, which Franken released Thursday.

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