In a relatively short time, Netflix, Inc has become a serious player in the video movie rental business. Beginning as a service where customers could receive DVD rentals in the mail, the company’s popularity has soared as it’s ease of use and no late return fee policy is music to the public’s ear. And now, as their business evolves and moves more towards streaming movie content over the internet, Netflix is poised for even more growth as it is already perceived as a leader in streaming movie delivery. Furthermore, one of it’s largest competitors, Blockbuster, recently filed chapter 11. But as the streaming movie business becomes more mainstream, Netflix is concerned about telecommunications regulatory issues that involve Internet Service Providers and rules that may allow for capping data limits and/or charging the public more for high-volume downloads. This type of usage fee could curtail the growing streaming side of Netflix’s business. Increasingly concerned about these regulatory issues, Netflix has found it pertinent to begin engaging in lobbying activity in DC. Earlier this year Netflix hired it’s first lobbyist and is now courting consumer advocate groups such as Media Access Project, Public Knowledge and Consumers Union, to help garner support against legislation that would hinder their streaming business. By forming alliances with consumer groups, who have a common goal of protecting the public from higher data download fees, Netflix believes that it can bolster it’s influence and better protect it’s interests.
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