A few weeks back, we noted that a bunch of tech and broadband companies were back to “negotiating” around net neutrality, leading us to highlight Adam Smith’s famous quote that “people of the same trade” seldom meet together except to create “a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” Now comes the news that those involved — including Verizon, AT&T, Skype, Microsoft, NCTA and “others” have “reached an agreement,” which might be “stricter” than the Googrizon “framework,” but which probably doesn’t really apply to wireless networks.
I’m still at a loss as to how this actually matters. The companies can agree to whatever they want, and none of it makes a difference if Congress acts (or the courts say that the FCC is allowed to act). I guess the idea is to think that an “industry agreement” will stave off legislation, which perhaps might work for some time, but still reeks of collusion without consumer input or review.
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