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Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Antitrust and Net Neutrality
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What if Google's lobbying efforts fall short and it can't secure net neutrality language in a new statute? Reuters reports:

"If the legislators...insist on neutrality, we will be happy. If they do not put it in, we will be less happy but then we will have to wait and see whether or not there actually is any abuse," Vint Cerf, a Google vice president and one of the pioneers of the Internet, told a news conference in Bulgaria.

"If we are not successful in our arguments ... then we will simply have to wait until something bad happens and then we will make known our case to the Department of Justice's anti-trust division," he said Tuesday.

Waiting to see if there is actually an abuse. Relying on antitrust law to punish abusers of market power. Where have I heard that? Oh yes, from PFF fellows on a near-daily basis (see our Net Neutrality primer, and recent op-eds by Ray Gifford [here and here] and Kyle Dixon [here] and testimony by Ray and Kyle, for current examples), and from the larger intellectual community that participated in the DACA project (see recent DACA net neutrality statement). Glad to see a NN supporter realizes there is an alternative to legislation that could prevent future Internet innovation.

UPDATE (4:08 pm): We now have a button on our PFF home page, directly below the Aspen link, leading those interested to more information on net neutrality. The page is here.

posted by Patrick Ross @ 11:40 AM | Broadband , Capitol Hill , DACA , Net Neutrality

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