Netflix goes into damage control mode after CFO calls net neutrality rules too strong

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) issued a statement Wednesday reiterating its support for the FCC's newly codified net neutrality guidelines after one of the SVOD company's top executives seemed to backtrack from the company's earlier stated position.

David Wells

Wells (Source: Netflix)

Netflix was practicing a little damage control after CFO David Wells was quoted by Variety as saying the company didn't want the FCC to actually go so far as to base its Internet rules on Title II of the 1934 Communications Act.

"Were we pleased it pushed to Title II? Probably not," Wells said. "We were hoping there might be a non-regulated solution."

If taken on face value, Wells' comments, made Wednesday in New York at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference, signal a major backtrack from statements released by Netflix last year, which called for the FCC to govern the Internet as a utility.

Wells, Netflix explained, was merely "trying to convey the evolution of our position on net neutrality in recent years. The statement added that Netflix "supports the FCC's action last week to adopt Title II in ensuring consumers get the Internet they paid for without interference by ISPs. There has been zero change in our very well-documented position in support of strong net neutrality rules."

For more:
- read this Variety story
- read this Re/code story
- visit Netflix's investor relations page

Related links:
During MWC keynote, FCC's Wheeler defends net neutrality rules
Net neutrality: Apply it to wireless, but let carriers have flexibility in their business models
Wheeler's Title II plan could unwind Netflix-Comcast deal, other interconnection pacts

Suggested Articles

For now, it looks like Netflix and everyone else still have space to grow.

Flex, which Comcast recently made free for its subscribers, is a lot like X1 but not centered on Comcast’s linear video product.

Beginning Dec. 10, Comcast will replace Starz and begin offering Epix, a premium network owned by MGM, in some of its Xfinity TV premium packages.