When Comcast announced that its Xfinity app for Xbox 360 wouldn't count against its internet subscriber's data caps, it got an earful from net neutrality advocates, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, and Senator Al Franken. Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Department of Justice has stepped in, investigating cable companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable, among others, to see if they're acting unfairly towards the online video services they host on their network. More specifically, the DOJ is investigating if Comcast's Xbox application violates antitrust agreements the company made when it took over NBCUniversal in 2011, the very same issue that Senator Al Franken brought up early last month. In May, Comcast claimed it was complying with net neutrality principles, but the cable provider actually suggested that rivals were not. Sony actually stated that it was waiting to launch its promised IPTV service until the issue was ironed out.
The Journal is characterizing the move as "a wide-ranging antitrust investigation," and anonymous sources tell the publication that Netflix and Hulu are among the online video providers being interviewed. We'll keep you posted if any particular discoveries come to light during the probe.