Verizon and Netflix are in that tough part of a rom-com where the couple is totes not speaking anymore, ever. The root of their issue: video streaming speeds. Netflix blames Verizon, Verizon blames Netflix, and customers blame everyone because they just want to watch Gilmore Girls.
The spat began over a tweet (like most e-lovers' quarrels do):
Oh snap, netflix. pic.twitter.com/wMfavoHOyj— Yuri Victor ♥ (@yurivictor) June 4, 2014
Netflix said it was "testing ways to let consumers know how their Netflix experience is being affected by congestion on their broadband provider's network." That's a plausible argument, especially considering how difficult and convoluted the fight over paid prioritization within net neutrality has been.
Verizon is not amused by Netflix's "testing." A Verizon spokesperson has said Netflix was just pulling a "PR stunt." From there, things got worse: Verizon is now threatening legal action over the message.
Netflix counsel David Hyman received a cease and desist letter from Verizon counsel Randal Milch on Thursday. We included the letter in full below, but here are the highlights:
"Verizon demands that Netflix immediately cease and desist from providing any such further ‘notices’ to users of the Verizon network. We further demand that within five days from the date of this letter that Netflix provide Verizon with any and all evidence and documentation that it possesses substantiating Netflix’s assertion to Yuri Victor that his experience in viewing a Netflix video was solely attributable to the Verizon network, and that Netflix also provide a list of all Netflix customers […] to whom Netflix has delivered such messages.”
Netflix basically rolled their eyes at Verizon and sent them a cranky emoji face. Well, actually, they issued this statement: “This is about consumers not getting what they paid for from their broadband provider. We are trying to provide more transparency, just like we do with the ISP Speed Index, and Verizon is trying to shut down that discussion.”
Here's my (imaginary) take on how the text convo between Verizon and Netflix probably went:
The full letter here:
I have a feeling these two kids are going to get back together. Technically, Verizon and Netflix are actually partners and have been since February.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.