Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) failed to appear at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday to discuss the changes in the video marketplace, says a report from The Hill. Chairman Jay Rockefeller said that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was asked to testify as part of the six-person panel, which includes members such as AT&T Senior Executive Vice President John Stankey and Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen.
Hastings “declined to be here today, which I can’t figure out, because I’m trying to help him, I think,” Rockefeller said.
Netflix avoids the meeting
Netflix spokesperson said that Hastings could not reach the meeting due to some scheduling issues. The online streaming company accused companies like Comcast and Verizon, which has become the subject of public dispute between the companies.
Previously, Hastings criticized internet providers for inappropriately conveying to the public that online video company should bear “arbitrary tax” to increase user’s streaming experience.
The meeting primarily focused on the growing market for online video including from companies like Netflix, Amazon and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL). He, also, mentioned about the challenges that online video companies come across as they have to be dependent on the Internet service providers, primarily cable companies that offer competing video programming to win users.
Dish voiced its concern
Rockefeller said that till now there is no such video platform that can catch up with a cable or satellite service. He spoke in relation of the bill he introduced last year to take forward the growth of online video. He added that consumer choice in the Online Video Act is favorable for companies like Netflix, who can compete with the traditional Pay-TV services on same-level.
In the committee, representative from Comcast and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) entered into discussion with Dish Network executives, WGA, and Kimmelman whether the online video providers should be worried about the merger or need strong neutrality rules.
DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) revealed that it plans to introduce a low-priced online video service, which will also offer live streams of ESPN, but the plan could hit trouble owing to the merger of two largest cable companies. The satellite company’s Deputy General Counsel Jeffrey Blum, said they are concerned that a merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, “will have an incentive and ability to stifle our service.”