Republican: House won't take up online video bill

The House has no plans to consider legislation from Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) to bolster online video services, according to Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio). 

"When I look at what's happening in our committee — full committee and also in the subcommittee — I probably would say that's not going to see very much work on our side, if any," said Latta, the vice chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on Communications and Technology, during an interview on C-SPAN's "The Communicators," set to air Saturday.

Latta noted that Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the chairman of the Communications subcommittee, has called Rockefeller's bill a "bold initiative." 

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"But I don't see it moving along in the House," Latta said. 

Rockefeller's bill, the Consumer Choice in Online Video Act, would provide certain legal protections to online video sites and would bar cable, broadcast and media companies from engaging in anti-competitive practices against online services.

The goal of Rockfeller's bill is to make online video a full-fledged competitor to cable television. 

A small but growing number of consumers are dropping cable TV subscriptions in favor of online options, but there is fear that the established video companies could use their market power to kill off the online competition. 

Cable companies, for example, offer video programming and also provide broadband Internet service. In an effort to protect their own cable TV businesses, they could decide to slow down their customers' access to online video sites.

Media companies could also limit the ability of the online video services to buy access to movies and TV shows for their libraries. 

“Consumers must be able to benefit from online video’s promise of decreased costs, increased choice, and higher-quality video content," Rockefeller said in a statement when he introduced the bill last week. "And I strongly believe that my legislation will help foster a consumer-centric revolution in the video marketplace.”

Rockefeller, the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, will retire at the end of next year.