Class-Action Suit Accuses Hulu Of Throttling Service On Computers

A lawsuit seeking class certification accuses Disney-controlled Hulu of throttling the quality of video service on web browsers so as to push subscribers to using its app on other devices, in order to enable easier data collection by the streamer. 

The suit, filed on April 16 in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that Hulu’s claim that high-quality streams of its service are available “on all your favorite devices” constitutes false advertising and fraud, reported Variety.

“Defendants prefer that users use the Hulu applications because, compared to computer browsers, applications provide more direct access to consumers’ personal data during online and offline use” and “opens up a multitude of opportunities for [Hulu] to customize their data collection and further monetize their subscribers.”



The suit cites complaints on Hulu’s discussion board about poor video quality on PCs, and responses from Hulu reps stating that Hulu is working to re-enable high-definition streaming on, and in some cases suggesting that meanwhile, subscribers use another type of device.

The suit seeks to represent all Hulu subscribers nationwide, and subclasses in California and New York that could bring claims under state laws.

Hulu did not respond to Variety’s request for comment.

A page devoted to navigating on your computer on Hulu’s online help center states: “The experience available at and through the web apps on your supported Mac and PC computer is packed full of the latest Hulu features and services — fully optimized for streaming online.

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