Net neutrality repeal + AT&T Time-Warner merger = Trouble for Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, etc.

Danny Crichton, TechCrunch:

[The repeal of net neutrality] will allow telecom companies like AT&T to prioritize their own content over that of competitors. In the past, AT&T didn’t have all that much content, but the addition of Time Warner now gives them a library encompassing Warner Bros. to TBS, TNT, HBO and CNN. Suddenly, that control over prioritization just got a lot more powerful and profitable.


If Comcast bids and is successful in buying 21st Century Fox, then connectivity in the United States will be made up of a handful of gigantic content library ISPs, and a few software players that will have to pay a premium to deliver their content to their own subscribers. While companies like Netflix and Alphabet have negotiated with the ISPs for years, the combination of these two news stories puts them in a significantly weaker negotiating position going forward.

So if you get your internet from AT&T or DirectTV or Time Warner (or other AT&T owned/branded ISPs), keep an eye out for either Netflix packet slowdown or an offer to make your connection net neutral.

And what about YouTube? No reason AT&T wouldn’t slow YouTube packets to allow their own content to hog the fast lane. Will this threat rekindle the stuttering Google Fiber (now spun off into Alphabet) efforts?

In what world is this a win for consumers? Feh.