- No resolution emerged in the Comcast-Level 3 dispute that has been ongoing since November. Level 3 generated the most activity recently, filing several ex parte letters with the FCC. The first letter claims that Comcast disclosed private negotiations despite a confidentiality agreement, and that Level 3 did not believe the “trial” offer by Comcast would result in a meaningful resolution of the dispute. Level 3 is seeking a resolution that does not require it to pay anything to Comcast. The second ex parte concerns the Comcast-NBC Universal merger. Calling Comcast a “gatekeeper” for online video entertainment, Level 3 argues that Comcast will have an incentive to discriminate against other online video providers, because they will compete with Comcast’s cable programming and NBC’s online videos. Level 3’s CEO, James Crowe, has also recently filed a letter with the FCC requesting conditions on the Comcast-NBC merger, including requiring Comcast to interconnect with Internet backbone carriers on nondiscriminatory, fair, and reasonable terms. It has been reported that a draft order approving the merger has been on circulation at the FCC since December 23, 2010.
Mr. Crowe’s letter is available here.