Netflix, Inc. Should Benefit From This Net Neutrality Change

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WASHINGTON, DC — Tough new rules enforcing net neutrality could make it easier for Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX.US) to cost-effectively compete for business in the European Union, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says.  

Specifically, EU lawmakers enacted new policies that not only guarantee equal access for all netizens but also reduced mobile phone roaming charges throughout the 28-member union. A final vote is due in May, but most signs suggest that regulators will stick with the plan as it was passed in the European Parliament last week.

For Netflix, Tim says the new rules guarantee the company’s streams will travel across the continent unimpeded. Direct-access deals similar to what Netflix has with Comcast  in the US shouldn’t be necessary in the EU.

Yet it’s the timing of the changes that matter more than anything else. Netflix has long had designs on expanding its European operations beyond the UK, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. EU countries, meanwhile, want more of what the streaming king has. Take House of Cards, which has proved to be a particularly attractive target of illegal streamers in Poland, France, Greece and Spain, among others, according to data compiled by Variety.

Tough, carefully crafted net neutrality regulations should allow Netflix to turn those digital miscreants into customers, pleasing investors in the process.

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Tim owns shares in Netflix.