The NCTA has questioned the basis of a critique of the TV Everywhere initiative launched by the advocacy group Free Press.

In a posting to the NCTA’s Cable Tech Talk blog on Monday afternoon, NCTA President and Chairman Kyle McSlarrow wrote that the Free Press’ “call for an ‘investigation’ of TV Everywhere has no factual or legal basis no matter how many times Free Press and its allies repeats the words ‘collusion,’ ‘cartel,’ and ‘illegal.’”

The efforts of the Free Press advocates moreover are likely to backfire, McSlarrow wrote: “In the name of protecting competition, they would actually reduce the amount of online content available to consumers.”

For a link to the NCTA blog, click here. For more background on the TV Everywhere initiative, click here.

A story by Washington Post reporter Cecilia Kang on Monday morning discussed efforts by the Free Press “and other advocacy groups” to investigate plans by cable, satellite and phone companies to bring video content to multiple devices of their subscribers.

By mid-day, the Free Press had posted a press release touting a report titled, “TV Competition Nowhere: How the Cable Industry is Colluding to Kill Online TV.” For more, click here.

“A textbook antitrust violation,” University of Nebraska law professor and author of the report Marvin Ammori said in a statement. “The old media giants are working together to kill off innovative online competitors and carve up the market for themselves.”

McSlarrow’s post noted and that TV Everywhere “would provide a new service at no extra charge to consumers who subscribe to a multichannel video programming service.” This kind of offering is the result of “a multitude of bilateral agreements” between content owners and distributors.

“Antitrust laws do not prohibit, but encourage collaboration, even among competitors, that lead to innovation and new products and services for consumers,” McSlarrow wrote.

—Jonathan Tombes

The Daily

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