Netflix's US customers get Facebook-sharing tool

Company persuades Congress to revise a 1988 movie rental record law

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Netflix is adding a feature that will allow the Internet video service's 27 million subscribers in the U.S. to automatically swap movie and TV show recommendations with their social circles on Facebook.

The sharing tool announced Wednesday is rolling out 18 months after Netflix Inc. introduced the feature to its 6 million international subscribers.

Netflix withheld the tool in the avoid breaking a 1988 law that banned the disclosure of video rental records without a customer's written consent. After several years of lobbying, the Lost Gatos, Calif., company persuaded Congress to revise the law so that subscribers could choose to activate a video-sharing feature.

If the sharing tool is turned on, Netflix subscribers will see new rows within their accounts showing what their Facebook friends have been watching.

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