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Shaming Internet service providers is nothing new to Netflix; the company has been publishing provider connection speeds on its ISP Speed Index for years. But the company’s latest move singled one ISP out in particular, and that provider isn’t too happy about it.

According to TechCrunch, reports surfaced yesterday that Netflix was showing a custom message to certain Verizon users who tried to stream movies. These users were delivered lower quality streams due to connection issues, and Netflix reportedly displayed a message that stated, “The Verizon network is crowded right now.”

Users who got the message were essentially given a target for their frustrations. But Verizon wasn’t going to take the blame that easily.

verizon-logo-300x300Today, Verizon sent a “cease-and-desist” to Netflix, demanding that the streaming video company stop showing that message to Verizon customers at once. But that wasn’t all. Verizon also told Netflix to prove that the ISP was responsible for connection issues, and also ordered Netflix to provide a list of all of the Verizon customers that received its “crowded” network message.

It’ll be interesting to see if Netflix, under the threat of legal action, will comply with Verizon’s demands, or if the company will call its bluff and continue to troll the Internet service provider.

It’s not the first time Netflix has run into issues with an ISP. The company also had some disagreements with Comcast, complaining that connection speeds for its users were dropping over time. After negotiating an agreement with the cable and Internet provider, Netflix was able to improve streaming connection speeds, but it would be an expensive proposition for the company to work similar deals with every ISP in the country. Shaming them into making improvements might be cheaper, and it seems that’s the avenue Netflix is taking here.

What do you think of the Netflix vs. Verizon battle? Whose side are you on? Leave your thoughts below.

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