Verizon to Netflix: ‘No, You’re Slow!’

Netflix might just be too clever for its own good.

Earlier this week, the company confirmed that it had gotten a bit cheeky with Verizon, its partner in the love/hate net neutrality dance.

Netflix, in the face of what might resemble extortion from a certain angle, recently agreed to pay for the right to “direct access” to Verizon customers in order to ensure that its videos stream at optimum speeds. The company signed a similar deal with Comcast.

Of course, we can see why Netflix might want to gripe about this fact, and they chose a sly way to do it. But Verizon wasn’t amused. Their statement after the jump.

Netflix’s false accusations have the potential to harm the Verizon brand in the marketplace. This potential harm is broader than only the experience of a customer viewing Netflix content. The impression that Netflix is falsely giving our customers is that the Verizon network is generally “crowded” and troublesome. This could cause a customer to think that any attempted viewing of video, whether it be Hulu, YouTube, or other sites, would yield a similarly “crowded” experience, and he or she may then choose to alter or cease their use of the Verizon network.

Oh, they’re right. Have you ever tried to stream “Game of Thrones” on HBOGO, Verizon customers? Flawless.

We snark, but this is serious business. Verizon insisted, in its cease and desist order, that Netflix stop it at once or else. Still, yesterday a company spokesman tried to play down the conflict, telling The Wall Street Journal that “”All of this kerfuffle that is going on isn’t affecting [the rollout of our new agreement with Netflix].”

As much as we love the word “kerfuffle”, we have to wonder whether Verizon’s huffing and puffing will win the hearts of the public. Netflix officially responded to the goings-on with a clear not-backing-down statement:

“We are trying to provide more transparency. Verizon is trying to shut down that discussion.”

…and they plan to continue contacting subscribers to find out “how their Netflix experience is being affected by congestion on their broadband provider’s network.”

Monopolies aside, all’s well that ends with “Orange Is the New Black” Season Two playing seamlessly, right?

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