SAN FRANCISCO ( TheStreet) -- Comcast (CMCSA) and other cable stocks took a hit Monday, after President Obama called for reclassifying Internet service providers as a utility. BlackBerry (BBRY) soared on interest in expanding in China, while Alcatel Lucent (ALU) fell on reports that a large telecom customer will be curtailing capital expenditures.
Comcast fell 4% to $52.95 at the close. Earlier in the day, the Philadelphia-based cable company took a hit after Pres. Obama leaned on the Federal Communications Commission to place cable companies and other broadband Internet service providers under the classification of a utility.
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Such a move could dramatically restrict the way cable companies and other Internet service providers operate. One area that the White House is specifically interested in banning is eliminating an arrangement where online services like Netflix (NFLX) or Amazon.com (AMZN) could pay broadband carriers a fee to have their content accessed by users at a faster speed than other online services that do not pay.
The courts in January struck down attempts at enforcing "net neutrality" regulations which would call for ensuring Internet service providers don't play favorites with certain Web sites or content providers. However, the FCC is drafting new net neutrality regulations that would demonstrate it has the authority to regulate the Internet, something that the courts found lacking in its previous set of net neutrality regulations.
It remains to be seen whether Obama's call to reclassify broadband Internet service providers as a utility will kill Comcast's $45 billion buyout of Time Warner Cable (TWC) .