As the online industry has learned, all roads still lead through Washington. The latest sector to do the Beltway boogie, online video companies are reportedly racing to lobby-up and build ties with lawmakers and regulators. “Both Netflix and Amazon.com are on pace to sharply increase the amount of money they spend on lobbying this year,” The Wall Street Journal reports. They have added veteran Washington hands to help them in the capital, where Comcast Corp. and other Internet-service providers already spend millions of dollars a year.”
Problem is, as WSJ points out, “Their adversaries -- traditional cable-TV companies and Internet-service providers -- have far deeper pockets on K Street.” As a backdrop for these machinations, the Justice Department is reportedly conducting a wide-ranging investigation into whether cable companies are using "data caps," or other tactics to unfairly cripple their online competitors.
“While not all of their lobbying efforts involve online video, Netflix and other companies are pressing regulators on issues such as how some Internet-service providers impose data caps, or limits on how much customers can download. Netflix and others have spoken with the Justice Department.”