Level 3 and Global Crossing merge in $1.9b deal
International fiber-based communications provider Level 3 and similar company Global Crossing have made an agreement where the former will buy out the latter for nearly $1.9 billion in a tax-free, stock-for-stock deal. The stronger resulting company could offer less costly long-distance Internet services. The deal will see Global Crossing equity holders get 16 Level 3 shares for each of their common or preferred shares.
Netflix says Apple TV trumps iPad, OKs FCC moves
Netflix while discussing breakthrough results on Wednesday surprised the industry with word that the new Apple TV was already more popular than the iPad for Netflix movie viewing. Apple's media hub had already accumulated more viewing hours in its first four months than the iPad managed in nine. The movie rental service didn't try to explain the gap, but it suggested many still preferred to use Netflix's movie streaming on a TV despite the surge in tablet video.
FCC said approving Comcast-NBC Jan 28 with limits
The FCC should approve the Comcast-NBC merger withnet neutrality conditions by the end of the month, a pair of sources said Monday night. The merger will reportedly be submitted this week with approval any time between now and January 28. TheWrap in obtaining the date noted an FCC meeting was on January 25 but that it could vote early this week, implying a decision as soon as Tuesday.
Level 3 to use net neutrality against Comcast
In the latest development in their fight, international, fiber-based Internet provider Level 3 Communications may be readying to challenge Comcast under the new net neutrality rules approved by the FCC. It argued that Comcast might break the rules by charging special access or toll charges to reach a customer, as is purportedly the case for its decision to charge Level 3 extra for Netflix traffic. It planned to achieve this under the Open Internet Order or otherwise, which could include legal action.
FCC to push Comcast-NBC neutrality and video rules
The FCC today said through unofficial channels it would likely demand tough conditions of the proposed Comcast-NBC merger. The deal will require Comcast to obey net neutrality rules more specifically and will prevent it from blocking or otherwise interfering with competitors' Internet traffic. It would further prevent 'positive' violations of neutrality, the WSJ heard, by prioritizing its own Internet video above others.
Level 3 says FCC must limit Comcast-NBC
Level 3 has tried to bring the FCC more directly into its net neutrality dispute with Comcast with a letter sent later on Thursday. The message to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski and the Department of Justice's Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney to impose conditions on the proposed Comcast-NBC merger to keep it fair. Comcast's insistence on higher rates for Level 3 to reach its network "adversely changes the nature of the Internet" and, buy implication, might get worse if it owned a TV network.
Level 3 denies Comcast's peering claims
Level 3 today rejected Comcast's denials in a video access dispute with a new FAQ. The network provider directly accused Comcast of lying about the nature of the fight and said it was a basic interconnection issue between the two rather than a "peering dispute" as Comcast had argued. Without a basic connection deal, Level 3 would have no way of getting content to Comcast users even by rerouting it, the company said.
FCC chair puts net neutrality rules to vote
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski today outlined a new set of net neutrality rules that would be put to a vote at the agency's December meeting. The rules will guarantee a "right to know" for Internet access that focuses on transparency, including a "meaningful" transparency rule that tells users and developers what would be blocked or throttled. Subscribers would also have a right to send and receive any legal Internet traffic using any safe device.
FCC investigating Comcast and Level 3 dispute
FCC chairman Juilus Genachowski today said he was looking into Level 3's allegations that Comcast was charging extra for video. Speaking at a press conference, the official said it was "premature to comment" but promised that his agency was "looking into it." He didn't have an estimate as to when the FCC might have an answer.
Level 3 claims Comcast extorting fees for video
(Update: Comcast response) Level 3 today raised alarms with claims that Comcast was engaging in anti-competitive behavior with a new charge for online video. The Internet backbone provider said that Comcast had suddenly started charging extra for video to its customers and threatened to block video traffic from Level 3, which supplies streams for Netflix and other major providers. It agreed to pay the fee to avoid a disruption but accused Comcast of setting up a "toll booth" deliberately designed to prevent competition with both cable TV and its own Internet features.