Groups Ask FCC To Reform Set-Top Box Market, Say New Rules Could Save Consumers Billions Every Year

Groups Ask FCC To Reform Set-Top Box Market, Say New Rules Could Save Consumers Billions Every Year

While the cable industry hasn’t fessed up to how much it makes leasing set-top boxes to their customers, in July, lawmakers crunched some numbers and found that it could be a $20 billion industry, with consumers paying up to $232 every year on that equipment. Two advocacy groups are now asking the Federal Communications Commission to begin a rulemaking proceeding to reform the video set-top box market, saying cable and pay-TV companies are overcharging consumers by $6 billion to $14 billion annually. [More]

YouTube Wants To Be Your New Netflix, Seeks Rights To TV And Movies

YouTube Wants To Be Your New Netflix, Seeks Rights To TV And Movies

If you want to curl up on the sofa on a cold winter night and watch a movie, that’s what Netflix is for. And if you want to watch music videos, mash-ups, or cats doing foolish things, you’ve got your YouTube. That’s how it’s been since approximately the dawn of time, by which we mean roughly the last five or six years. But it looks like the times, they are a-changing, and YouTube wants to be your one-stop shop for video of any and all sorts. [More]

DOJ Sues To Stop United And Delta From Swapping Slots At NYC-Area Airports

DOJ Sues To Stop United And Delta From Swapping Slots At NYC-Area Airports

When two major companies decide to get along, it’s not quite so simple as exchanging friendship bracelets — each side usually sees some benefit. For example, airlines United and Delta want to get friendly, so they’ve agreed to swap slots at two New York City-area airports. One hitch, however, is that the United States Department of Justice isn’t a fan of the plan. [More]

Carts. Not Instacarts. (SA_Steve)

Target Will Price-Match 29 Competitors’ Websites

Beginning tomorrow, October 1, Target will price-match the websites of 29 major retailers in stores and for purchases from their website. These include the usual big names that you might expect, like Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy, but also some major specialty retailers like Sports Authority and cosmetics retailer Ulta. [More]

Broadcasters Association Sues FCC Over Cable Competition Rules

Broadcasters Association Sues FCC Over Cable Competition Rules

Under federal law, a city can regulate cable TV rates for its residents if there is not “effective competition” in that market — that is, if one cable operator dominated the TV landscape in that area. But the Federal Communications Commission recently revised its way of looking at things so that it now presumes that satellite providers offer effective competition for the cable industry. This change hasn’t gone over well with broadcasters, who have petitioned a federal appeals court to challenge the FCC. [More]

(Ryan Holloway)

Cable Companies Refuse To Reveal How Much They Make Off Of Set-Top Boxes

Sen. Ed Markey of Massachussetts and Sen. Dick Blumenthal of Connecticut recently posed a handful of questions to the nation’s cable and satellite providers about their set-top boxes — Are they required? How many customers have them? Is there an option for customers to purchase their own? etc. While some providers were more transparent in their responses than others, there was one thing they all agreed on: We’re not telling you how much we make from leasing these devices. [More]

15 Years Into Agreement To Provide St. Paul’s Elderly A Cable Discount, Comcast Reps Have Never Heard Of It

15 Years Into Agreement To Provide St. Paul’s Elderly A Cable Discount, Comcast Reps Have Never Heard Of It

The Minnesota city of St. Paul sits, like its twin Minneapolis, squarely in Comcast territory, with nary a competitor in sight. But the franchise agreements that create local monopolies can also be used to residents’ benefit: as part of the contract that lets them be the exclusive cable company in town, Comcast offers low-income and elderly St. Paul residents a discount off their cable bills. Great, right? Well, it would be… if anyone in town could actually sign up for it. [More]

Walmart Crashes Amazon’s Deal-Filled Birthday Party, Announces Its Own Mega Online Sale

Walmart Crashes Amazon’s Deal-Filled Birthday Party, Announces Its Own Mega Online Sale

UPDATE: Just hours after Walmart pointedly announced it would offer its own mega-sale in response to Amazon’s Prime-member only deal day happening on Wednesday, the online retailer released its own barbed statement, reminding consumers they could avoid missing all the deals by simply signing up for a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime. [More]

Baseball-Loving Charter Subscribers in L.A. Can Finally Watch The Dodgers Next Week

Baseball-Loving Charter Subscribers in L.A. Can Finally Watch The Dodgers Next Week

The official paperwork for Charter’s bid to buy Time Warner Cable isn’t even in yet, let alone approved, but the two companies are already making good on one promise to play nice: as of Tuesday, Charter subscribers in Los Angeles who are also baseball fans will finally be able to watch their own home team on TV. [More]

EBay Rolling Out Its Own Prime-Like Service… In Germany

EBay Rolling Out Its Own Prime-Like Service… In Germany

Just weeks after rumors surfaced that Walmart was working on its own Amazon Prime-esque service, eBay is jumping into the game — except its subscription service is only available across that big Atlantic pond – for now. [More]

Cablevision Sues Verizon Over FiOS Ads, Claims Verizon’s Touted All-Fiber Network Actually Isn’t

Cablevision Sues Verizon Over FiOS Ads, Claims Verizon’s Touted All-Fiber Network Actually Isn’t

Most of the country doesn’t have much competition for broadband services. But in some of New York City’s boroughs, particularly Brooklyn and the Bronx, Cablevision and Verizon FiOS fight head to head for residential customers. The battle between the two is often ugly, and with a new lawsuit filed yesterday, it just got uglier. [More]

(josepqr)

Report: DOJ Has An Eye On Apple As It Makes Moves To Push Free Streaming Music Rivals Out Of The Way

Let’s be honest: It would be ideal for a business if it could somehow snap up every customer looking for a certain service. But because we (thankfully) live in a world filled with choices, companies instead must compete with rivals to get our hard-earned dollars. A new report says Apple is preparing to debut its new streaming music service by trying to put the squeeze on competitors like Spotify that offer content for free. [More]

Comcast Decides Competing Against Municipal Fiber Is Just Fine, Brings 2 Gbps Service to Chattanooga

Comcast Decides Competing Against Municipal Fiber Is Just Fine, Brings 2 Gbps Service to Chattanooga

While most of us languish away without even a flicker on the horizon of someday getting gigabit speeds or real broadband competition, residents in a handful of cities are lucky enough to have both. This summer, Chattanoogans will join the shortlist of Americans who not only have blazing fast internet, but also a choice of providers. [More]

FCC Proposes Treating Online TV Like Cable TV; Amazon Objects If It’ll Stop You From Binge-Watching ‘The Wire’

FCC Proposes Treating Online TV Like Cable TV; Amazon Objects If It’ll Stop You From Binge-Watching ‘The Wire’

There’s another internet-related firestorm a-brewing at the FCC. This one is not as broad or as contentious as the now infamous net neutrality ruling, but it is bringing all the big players out to have their say. And what, you might ask, has everyone worked up? It’s the big bandwidth bugaboo of the twenty-teens: online video. [More]

(James Callan)

Judge Dismisses Stalking And Harassment Charges Against Ice Cream Truck’s Rival

An icy, delicious turf war has finally come to an end, almost two years after one mobile ice cream vendor accused another frozen treats truck driver of bullying him and trying to run him out of town. A judge in upstate New York dismissed stalking and harassing charges against the snow cone truck brought by an ice cream rival back in 2013. [More]

In Atlanta? You Can Soon Sign Up For Internet Twice As Fast As Google Fiber. The Downside: It’s From Comcast

In Atlanta? You Can Soon Sign Up For Internet Twice As Fast As Google Fiber. The Downside: It’s From Comcast

Atlanta residents are now well-poised to join inhabitants of metro Raleigh and Kansas City as citizens of one of the nation’s few crucibles of fiber competition. Comcast is setting its sights squarely on Google Fiber today with the announcement of a new fiber to the home offering at twice Google’s speed, and Atlanta is the lucky city getting first dibs. [More]

(Aaron G (Zh3uS))

Apple Continues To Surprise No One, Officially Removes Rival Fitness Trackers From Stores

In a signal that the Apple Watch’s arrival is nigh, Apple’s retail stores across the country are apparently ditching other fitness and health wearables. [More]

AT&T Chasing Google, Offering $70 Fiber Broadband To Kansas City Residents

AT&T Chasing Google, Offering $70 Fiber Broadband To Kansas City Residents

A handful of Americans are getting one step closer to actual 21st century, competitive broadband this week, as AT&T has announced that effective immediately, it’s competing to bring fast fiber internet to the greater Kansas City area, where Google Fiber has been dominating all the attention for the last few years. [More]