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Netflix backs Charter-TWC merger

Netflix backs Charter-TWC merger
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Netflix is putting its support behind Charter Communications' proposed merger with Time Warner Cable. 

Netflix, with its large slice of the online video market, has been a key voice in previous merger discussions. The online streaming company had outright opposed Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable, which ultimately fell apart earlier this year. 

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The online streaming company particularly endorsed Charter's policy on interconnection — the process in which Web traffic is transferred from the backbone of the Internet to the last mile, where providers like Charter route the content to customers.

Netflix has complained about having to pay large sums of money to providers, such as AT&T and Comcast, to unclog congestion so its video can stream smoothly. 

In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday, Charter said it would extend its interconnection policy at least until the end of 2018 if the merger goes through.

The policy says interconnection agreements will be subject to mutual agreements "at no charge to either party for traffic exchange." 

Because of Charter's commitment, Netflix said it backed the deal in a Wednesday filing

"Accordingly, Netflix supports the proposed Charter - Time Warner transaction if it incorporates the merger conditions proposed by Charter," the company said. 

"Netflix's long-standing support for an open interconnection policy is designed to ensure that consumers get the online content they want at the broadband speeds they pay for. Charter's new peering policy is a welcome and significant departure from the efforts of some ISPs to collect access tolls on the Internet," it added.

Netflix has asked the FCC to impose similar terms on the AT&T merger with DirecTV.