Netflix to stop blaming Verizon in error messages

A Netflix user got this error message while trying to watch videos on the streaming service. Yuri Victor/@yurivictor/Twitter

Netflix will stop sending its users error messages blaming Verizon and other Internet service providers for slowdowns in its video streaming service.

The decision, announced in a Monday blog post, follows a legal threat issued by Verizon last week.

Verizon threatened to sue Netflix Inc. unless the company abandoned a finger-pointing campaign that made Verizon's Internet service look bad.

Verizon argued other factors could affect traffic, including "choices by Netflix in how to connect to its customers and deliver content to them, interconnection between multiple networks, and consumer in-home issues such as in-home wiring, WiFi, and device settings and capabilities."

The flap started last week when Twitter user @yurivictor posted a screen grab of a Netflix error message blaming a slowdown on the fact that "the Verizon network is crowded right now."

Some AT&T customers reported getting similar messages.

Netflix Inc. says the notices were part of a "small-scale test" that will end June 16. Netflix is holding out the possibility of reviving the practice on a broader scale if video-quality problems persist.

Verizon Communications Inc. didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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