Based on federal forms obtained by Politico, Netflix has formed a Political Action Committee (PAC). The PAC is named the Netflix, Inc. PAC and is abbreviated FLIXPAC. The Federal Election Commission papers forming the committee were signed last Tuesday by its new treasurer, Christopher Libertelli. Libertelli became Netflix's Lead on Government Relations in December of last year. The address for the PAC is the same Los Gatos, California address as Netflix's corporate headquarters.
The PAC just set up by Netflix is an Separate Segregated Fund (SSF) PAC, the type of PAC set up by corporations and labor organizations. It will allow Netflix to segregate a portion of its funds to run the PAC and invest money to influence federal elections. According to the Federal Election Commission, after six months of being registered with the commission, having received contributions from over 50 persons, and having made contributions to at least five candidates for federal office, FLIXPAC will be able to contribute up to $5,000 to an individual candidate's election campaigns.
Politico reports that Netflix has been ramping up its spending in Washington D.C. in recent years and that it spent $500,000 on lobbying in the U.S. Capitol just last year. And it's no wonder. Netflix, having taken a dominant position in the video rental market, is now positioned such that both movie makers and cable providers are playing catch-up with its online business model. That's a lot of political muscle that Netflix will have to wrestle with if it hopes to sustain the incredible growth it saw over the past decade.