The U.S. Court of Appeals has determined that Netflix has an unfair postal advantage that must be fixed immediately. The court has decided that the U.S. Postal Service has given the company an advantage by handling the DVDs differently from other mail. Netflix has received special consideration from the post office with each DVD being sorted by hand and given priority.
“Netflix and the U.S. Postal Service seem to have a special arrangement. Oddly, Netflix does not pay anything extra for the special handling of its DVDs by USPS. However, the postal service may have its own reasons for giving the company the advantage. Since Netflix is one of its best customers, the special considerations may be aligned with the U.S. Postal Service’s own needs for survival.
“GameFly brought the lawsuit against the Postal Regulatory Commission after requesting that the U.S. Postal Service handle its video games sent through the mail the same way. Unfortunately, the postal service refused, and GameFly sued. Although the Postal Regulatory Commission agreed that Netflix was getting an unfair advantage, it did nothing to fix it. Now, the U.S. Court of Appeals has asked that the postal service immediately resolve the problem.
“Netflix has not issued an official response to GameFly’s lawsuit. GameFly’s original complaint stems from being forced to pay extra, so the DVDs are not damaged by the postal service. Meanwhile, Netflix does not appear to be paying anything extra to get special treatment and DVDs sorted by hand. In addition, Blockbuster has received the same priority service as Netflix. Although Blockbuster is not named in the lawsuit, it adds another example of the unfair treatment that GameFly is trying to expose.
The U.S. Court of Appeals has labeled this case as a clear example of discrimination against GameFly. Why are other companies that mail DVDs given special services from USPS? The postal service has not issued a statement to explain its actions. Some suspect it may be tied to the volume of mail from Netflix that makes it a large customer. GameFly has been the only one to give a comment to the media. The company has made it clear that fighting for five years was worth it because it believes the postal service will be forced to make changes. GameFly believes that this will lead to all DVDs being treated the same way without any special treatment reserved for different senders.