Netflix Increasing Prices, Thinks Comcast-Time Warner Merger Is A Terrible Idea

This afternoon, Netflix released its latest earnings report, where the company told the world about its $53 million quarterly profit and impressive growth in subscriptions. That’s all very interesting, but not what we at Consumerist are interested in. We care about one other piece of information that Netflix mentioned: they plan to raise prices for the first time in years.

The company’s pricing has remained pretty much the same since 2011. That’s when DVD and streaming subscriptions were split after the company’s attempt to spin DVD rentals off into a separate, strangely-named business called Qwikster.

Competing service Amazon Prime provides both streaming video and free shipping of mundane items in comically oversized boxes to your doorstep. Yet consumers took the announcement earlier this year that Amazon would be hiking the yearly Prime membership fee by $20 fairly well.

Except…not for a few months, and only for new customers at first. Eventually, the increase will hit current customers. The company tried a similar increase in Ireland, and there were no Qwikster-style mass consumer revolts.

On a section about the report that discusses the overall state of the information and entertainment businesses, the company decided to make note of its opinions of net neutrality and the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. Their very predictable positions: for net neutrality, against the merger. “Comcast is already dominant enough to be able to capture unprecedented fees from transit providers and services such as Netflix,” the company notes. “The combined company would possess even more anticompetitive leverage to charge arbitrary interconnection tolls for access to their customers. For this reason, Netflix opposes this merger.”

Letter to Shareholders [Netflix]

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