TV Everywhere to Spark Antitrust Concerns?


NBC Universal General Counsel Rick Cotton, speaking at the Digital Media Conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, brushed off concerns that the deal between Comcast and Time Warner to test the feasibility of TV Everywhere was a first step toward bringing TV on the Internet under the control of Big Media. He also shrugged off fears that the collaboration between programmers like Time Warner and ISPs like Comcast represented some sort of unholy cabal worthy of antitrust scrutiny from the government.

But what happens, wonders Paul Sweeting over on GigaOM, when we get to Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes’ nirvana where any multichannel video subscriber — whether to cable, satellite or telco TV — can access any of the content they subscribe to from anywhere on the web, whether directly through an ISP, through a web portal like Hulu or on mobile platforms? Apart from the sheer complexity of such a system, he writes, making it work will require a degree of information-sharing among nominal competitors that practically begs for antitrust scrutiny.

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