Verizon Communications Inc., the country's fourth-largest home Internet service provider, is telling Netflix to stop blaming it for bad video quality or face a lawsuit.
Verizon is reacting to messages appearing on the screens of some Netflix subscribers that blame poor video quality on their Internet service providers.
The "cease and desist" letter Verizon sent to Netflix on Thursday is a continuation of verbal and technological sparring between ISPs and Netflix, whose streaming service accounts for a third of U.S. Internet usage during peak evening hours.
Internet service providers want to be compensated for establishing fast links to Netflix, either directly or through intermediaries. Netflix says ISPs should swallow the costs.
"This is about consumers not getting what they paid for from their broadband provider," Netflix Inc. said Thursday.
Explore further: Verizon-backed Redbox launches streaming service