Groups Call for Antitrust Probe of ‘TV Everywhere’

By Andrew Gauthier 

Washington Post

Public interest groups on Monday will call for federal antitrust watchdogs to investigate an industry-wide strategy by television service providers that they say will strap users to unnecessarily high monthly subscription fees and stifle competition.

Free Press and other public advocacy groups are sending letters Monday to the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission calling for a probe of the “TV Everywhere” plan by cable, satellite and phone companies that brings television shows and movies to computers and devices, but only for those that subscribe to both television and high-speed Internet services.

The result, the groups say, would allow Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon and Direct TV to unfairly maintain dominance over the burgeoning online video industry by elbowing out online video competitors such as Apple, Hulu and Vuze.

Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the nation’s largest cable service providers, declined to comment. More…