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That's according to articles by The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News.
The Justice Department won't comment on the reports, but the newspaper say the department is probing whether the cable ops are charging extra if their Internet subscribers exceed their data caps in using the rival streamers. Justice investigators are also examining if the cable operators are giving preferential treatment to their own streaming services by not charging extra for them.
The investigation seems to have been triggered by complains from Netflix that Comcast plans to charge subscribers extra if they exceed their data caps when using Netflix on the Xbox 360. However, Comcast has said that subscribers who use Comcast's Xfinity VOD service on the Xbox will not have their data caps affected.
The Justice Department opens investigations all the time without ever even releasing a report, not to mention filing charges. This could be one of those cases. Comcast's data cap policy appears to be one-sided, but not necessarily illegal or anti-competitive.
But by launching the probe, the Justice Department may be sending a message to cable operators that they better be cautious in how they govern Internet use for streaming and related services. If Comcast or any other cable operator decides to be more aggressive in trying to squeeze the competition, it could trigger a more serious probe and possible criminal and civil charges.
With streaming still in its infancy, the Justice Department wants to ensure that competition flourishes and consumers can use a variety of services without being gouged by their Internet service providers.
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