The battle between Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is heating up even further. Verizon is reportedly threatening to file a lawsuit against Netflix because Netflix is showing some Verizon users messages that blame Verizon for the low quality of their video streams.
Verizon sends Netflix a letter
The issue is a screen Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) puts up an error screen which states: “The Verizon network is crowded right now. Adjusting video for smoother playback…” Re/code reports that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) has sent Netflix’s attorney a cease and desist letter. The letter demands that Netflix stop showing these messages to Verizon subscribers within five days of the date of the letter.
In addition, the letter demands that Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) turn over all the documentation and evidence the company provided to Vox journalist Yuri Victor. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) basically wants to see the evidence that substantiates Netflix’s claim that it’s Verizon’s fault that the video streams watched through Netflix are of low quality. In addition, Verizon is demanding that Netflix hand over a complete list of subscribers to whom it showed the bothersome message.
Netflix responds to Verizon
A spokesperson for Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) said they are just wanting to inform consumers that their Internet service providers are not giving them what they paid for. He said they’re trying to “provide more transparency” and that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) wants to “shut down that discussion.”
Supposedly Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) are partners. In April, the two companies struck a deal so that Netflix could create a more direct connection between Verizon’s network and its servers. The purpose of that pact was to speed up the delivery of Netflix’s content, thus enabling the streaming video provider to be able to send higher quality video. The goal is to improve the experience of Netflix users who have Verizon broadband service.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings said at the time they signed the deal that he was reluctant to sign deals with Internet service providers. He also said he was angry that they had to pay more to ISPs in order to improve their customers’ experiences.