The internet as we know it

Comcast demanded a “recurring fee” from Level 3 “to transmit Internet online movies and other content to Comcast’scustomers who request such content,” Thomas Stortz, the chief legal officer for Level 3, said in a statement Monday afternoon, seemingly alluding to the Netflix service. The action “threatens the open Internet,” Mr. Stortz added.

Comcast did not immediately respond to the company’s claims. A spokesman for Netflix declined to comment.

The clash appeared to expose a new battleground in the delivery of Internet video. Companies like Netflix, which streams films and TV episodes to millions of paying customers, are encroaching on the terrain of incumbents like Comcast, which is eager to protect both its subscription television business and its emerging video-on-demand business