FTC Chairman “Surprised” Companies Want to Regulate the Internet

August 22, 2006 - 0 Comments

SAN JOSE, CA – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras yesterday spoke in Aspen, Colorado at the annual Progress and Freedom Foundation gathering and stated, “proponents of net neutrality regulation have not come to us to explain where the market is failing or what anticompetitive conduct we should challenge.” This is a strong statement from a leading regulator who, in essence, stated that there haven’t been any problems so those proposing regulations on net neutrality should be extremely careful what they are asking for when the market generally will take care of any issues. She stated that if there were issues of anti-competitive behavior from providers of internet services that it would be proper for regulatory bodies to step in. FTC Chairman Majoras.jpgFTC Chairman Deborah Platt MajorasFrom the FTC press release: Chairman Majoras said that competition generally leads to the best results for consumers, that free markets breed innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship, and that markets -particularly dynamic markets -are usually self-correcting.”I ask myself whether consumers will stand for an Internet that suddenly imposes restrictions on their ability to freely explore the Internet or does not provide for the choices they want. And I further ask why network providers would not continue to compete for consumers’ dollars by offering more choices, not fewer. We make a mistake when we think about market scenarios simply as dealings between and among companies; let us not forget who reigns supreme: the consumer.” Read the full release here.For an on-location report on this speech, please see www.drewclark.com, where he reports Chairman Majoras stated,”I start by admitting my surprise at how quickly so many of our nation’s successful firms have jumped into urge the government to regulate.” She referred to the coalition of technology industry giants -Google, eBay, Microsoft and Yahoo are among the biggest names -that have entered the telecommunications debate seeking legislation that would require telecommunications and cable companies to provide non-discriminatory access to broadband services.I must say that I have stated this very sentiment before.

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