Apple Inc (AAPL.O) is in talks with Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) to enter into a deal for a streaming-television service that would allow Apple set-top boxes to bypass congestion on the web, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The discussions are in early stages and there are a lot of hurdles to be crossed before a definitive agreement could be reached, the Journal said.
Apple, which wants its TV service's traffic to be separated from public internet traffic over the "last mile" for faster transmission, is looking for special treatment from Comcast's cables to bypass congestion, the report said.
Comcast and Apple declined to comment on the report.
Apple has been in talks for a faster TV set-top box with Time Warner Cable Inc TWC.N, which recently agreed to be bought by Comcast.
Apple's $99 TV box competes with similar streaming devices from Roku and Google Inc (GOOG.O).
Netflix (NFLX.O) agreed last month to pay Comcast Corp for faster speeds, throwing open the possibility that more content companies will have to shell out for better service.
The Federal Communications Commission is in the process of drafting a new "net-neutrality" bill that would ensure that network operators disclose exactly how they manage Internet traffic and that they do not restrict consumers' ability to surf the Web or use applications.
(Reporting by Arnab Sen in Bangalore and Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
Wall Street flat as investors look for clues on rates
Wall Street was little changed on Tuesday morning as investors looked for catalysts to drive the markets while keeping one eye on clues for the timing of the next interest rate hike.
Gold slips as focus shifts to U.S. payrolls data
LONDON Gold fell on Tuesday after Federal Reserve officials sounded a hawkish note on interest rates, boosting the dollar, while attention turned to U.S. payrolls data this week for further clues on the pace of rate hikes.
Oil prices rise on U.S. weather fears, OPEC speculation
LONDON Oil futures rose on Tuesday supported by production suspensions in the U.S. Gulf due to an expected tropical storm and speculation that producers meeting in Algeria next month will act to prop up prices.