According to Crovitz, David Wells, Netflix chief financial officer, disclosed at the annual Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference last week that his company had lobbyist’s remorse just a week after the Federal Communications Commission voted to replace the open Internet with Obamanet, the plan that among other things, reclassifies Internet service providers as utilities.
“Were we pleased it pushed to Title II? Probably not. We were hoping there might be a nonregulated solution,” Crovitz quotes Wells saying.
The opinion piece comes after Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)’s announcement of the rollout of its service in Australia and New Zealand. As part of the launch, a promotion in partnership with internet service provider iiNet was also launched.
As observed by Insider Monkey and other publications last week, the promotion is essentially what the practice called “Zero Rating” is and thus it is considered to be against full Net Neutrality or the principle that all traffic on the Internet should be treated the same.
“Zero Rating” is having certain bandwidth consumed by the user excluded from that user’s bandwidth limits. It’s against Net Neutrality since this makes certain traffic on the internet a priority or something that’s treated differently from other kinds of traffic because of deals companies may strike, whether money is involved or not.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), according to Crovitz, once relished its role as the most vocal company in support of Net Neutrality. It not only advocated for something that would protect its service and therefore profits, but it also earned the goodwill of activists and liberals, Crovitz quotes National Journal writing last year.
However, even though Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) justifies its iiNet deal as just protecting its members and service from a disadvantage given the context of the competition landscape in Australia and New Zealand, it seems that the company is at odds with what it initially set out to campaign for.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) shareholders includes Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management which owned about 1.79 million shares in the company by the end of 2014.
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