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Verizon threatening legal action over Netflix blaming it for bad streaming

That got ugly fast. 


Micah Singleton


Posted on Jun 6, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 4:31 am CDT

Multibillion-dollar Internet titan Verizon is threatening legal action against multibillion-dollar Internet titan Netflix over a message on a buffering popup pointing to Verizon as the cause of poor quality of its streaming video. Ironically, the two companies recently struck a deal that is supposed to improve the quality of Netflix over Verizon’s network.

Yuri Victor, a senior designer for Vox Media tweeted a screenshot of the buffering notice on Netflix on Tuesday, which drew the ire of Verizon’s lawyers, who sent a cease and desist letter to Netflix for “deceptive behavior.”

Oh snap, netflix.

— Yuri Victor ♥ (@yurivictor) June 4, 2014

In the letter, Verizon attorney Randal Milch notes that “there is no basis for Netflix to assert that issues with respect to playback of any particular video session are attributable solely to the Verizon network.” Milner goes on to say, “Verizon demands that Netflix immediately cease and desist from providing any such further ‘notices’ to users of the Verizon network. We further demand that within five days from the date of this letter that Netflix provide Verizon with any and all evidence and documentation that it possesses substantiating Netflix’s assertion to Mr. Yuri Victor that his experience in viewing a Netflix video was solely attributable to the Verizon network, and that Netflix also provide a list of all Netflix customers on the Verizon network to whom Netflix has delivered such messages with the date and time that each such message was displayed for each user and the purported substantiation for it.”

This isn’t the first time Netflix has been in a fight with an ISP. After striking a similar deal with Comcast back in February, Netflix stated that it was essentially forced into the deal, thanks to a lack of Net Neutrality. If Net Neutrality isn’t enacted soon, Netflix will end up signing more of these deals, and probably get in more fights. What’s more fun than watching two companies worth a combined $225 billion bicker over a tweet?

H/T Recode | Photo via _tar0_/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Jun 6, 2014, 2:51 pm CDT