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Verizon Threatens Netflix With Legal Action Over Congestion Message

Here's the cease and desist letter.

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Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Here’s the newest salvo in the Netflix/Verizon fight that blew up yesterday: Verizon is now threatening Netflix with legal action over the messages that Netflix is showing some Verizon subscribers, which blame Verizon for low-quality video streams.

Verizon’s cease and desist letter, sent to Netflix counsel David Hyman from Verizon attorney Randal Milch, is at the bottom of this post. It’s pretty self-explanatory.

Key excerpt: “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 Yuri Victor [the Vox journalist who kicked off the fight earlier this week by tweeting an image of Netflix’s message] 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 … to whom Netflix has delivered such messages.”

Netflix’s response, via spokesman Jonathan Friedland: “This is about consumers not getting what they paid for from their broadband provider. We are trying to provide more transparency, just like we do with the ISP Speed Index, and Verizon is trying to shut down that discussion.”

Remember: Verizon and Netflix are partners, following an April pact that’s supposed to make it easier for Netflix to get its videos to Verizon subscribers.

Letter to David Hyman.pdf

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