The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) could take action against a number of cable companies over their handling of streaming video services.
A report from the Wall Street Journal sites unnamed sources suggesting that the DoJ is examining whether common practices such as data limits violate anti-trust laws and give cable providers an unfair market advantage over streaming video firms.
According to the reports, the DoJ is investigating whether current regulations allow telecom providers to lock popular streaming media firms such as Hulu out of competition from their own broadcast and on-demand video packages.
While the handling of video services has long been an area of contention between regulators and service providers, previous efforts have focused largely on the question of net neutrality and internet access, rather than anti-trust conflicts with traditional television services.
Service providers have long argued that the caps are needed to preserve service quality and reduce network congestion rather than stifle competition.
The probe is one of several investigations the DoJ is currently conducting into online media services and the firms which control them.
The department recently began an investigation of the e-books market after booksellers argued that the commission model used by Apple's Books service constitutes collusion and price-fixing between the company and book publishers.
The DoJ was also recently called on by privacy advocates to decide whether Google's StreetView service falls afoul of wiretapping laws.
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