An Apple, Comcast tie-up would likely invite U.S. DOJ, FCC scrutiny

“Any deal between Comcast Corp. and Apple Inc. to create a new streaming-video service with special access to subscribers would likely draw close regulatory scrutiny and spark a new debate over whether cable companies can carve out a part of its pipe for content providers, according to industry analysts and experts,” Gautham Nagesh reports for The Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Apple and Comcast have discussed teaming up on a new streaming-video service that would deliver content to Apple set-top boxes,” Nagesh reports. “Apple wants traffic to the boxes to be marked as distinct from public Internet traffic and travel in a separate flow of bandwidth over Comcast’s cables to homes, ensuring better quality for Apple’s TV service than Web video.”

“The companies aren’t close to a deal and there is no guarantee they will strike one. But the talks have cast a spotlight on the type of arrangement Apple is proposing: one that would treat its video traffic as a ‘managed service’ traveling in Internet protocol format, similar to cable video-on-demand and phone services,” Nagesh reports. “Federal ‘net neutrality’ rules struck down in January barred broadband providers from discriminating against any public Internet traffic— but they were allowed to make exceptions for managed services. The benefit of managed services is that they don’t have to contend with other Web traffic over the ‘last mile’ of pipes connected to customers’ homes, and data-use thresholds often don’t apply. The Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department are likely to take a close look if any such Comcast-Apple deal is struck, particularly because it involves the nation’s largest cable and broadband provider.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If the WSJ’s made-up story magically came true, there might be “scrutiny.” August came early this year (too bad the thermometer didn’t notice in the U.S. Northeast).

Related articles:
Apple-Comcast TV deal? Don’t hold your breath – March 24, 2014
3 major hurdles for any Apple-Comcast streaming TV deal – March 24, 2014
Something smells fishy about that Comcast–Apple TV story – March 24, 2014
The ‘Apple television’ is the magical unicorn of consumer tech – March 24, 2014
Apple has built a team cable industry insiders – March 24, 2014
Apple’s cable box replacement to feature dramatically overhauled interface, big emphasis on gaming, sources say – March 24, 2014
Apple in talks with Comcast about streaming-TV service; companies discussing deal to bypass web congestion – March 24, 2014


  1. “An Apple, Comcast tie-up would likely invite U.S. DOJ, FCC scrutiny”, after which Apple, the new, little guy in the TV market, would be found guilty, and the monster who has been at it for decades would be awarded prizes from Apple’s punishment.

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