- Alden Abbott, The Heritage Foundation
On January 14, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its decision in Verizon v. FCC, the case regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order. The decision leaves the door open for the FCC’s regulation of the internet, but strikes down certain provisions of the Order, leaving many to wonder what the future holds for innovation, experimentation, and competition in the online marketplace.
While the court did not unequivocally uphold the Commission’s net neutrality protections, it recognized the FCC’s authority to regulate broadband internet service and access under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and found that open internet requirements would promote deployment. Specifically, it found support for the Commission’s conclusion that absent open internet requirements, “broadband providers represent a threat to Internet openness and could act in ways that would ultimately inhibit the speed and extent of future broadband deployment.” The court also deferred to the FCC’s finding that broadband providers have the ability to impose restrictions on edge providers’ conduct, particularly given end users’ inability to immediately respond to ISPs’ activities in this regard. Nonetheless, the court vacated and remanded the non-discrimination and no-blocking requirements adopted in the Order on the basis that they improperly constitute common carriage regulation of broadband services, but left in place the FCC’s transparency (i.e., disclosure) requirements.
Randy May and John Bergmayer held a spirited discussion about this landmark decision.
The Federalist Society's Faculty Division hosted a panel discussion that asked "Is IP Property or Government-Conferred Monopoly?" on Friday, January 3, 2014, during the 16th Annual Faculty Conference.
Panel 1: Is IP Property or Government-Conferred Monopoly?
1:00 - 2:45 p.m.
Warwick New York Hotel
New York NY
Is the antitrust enforcement authority of the Federal Trade Commission, proceeding under the FTC Act, broader than that of other litigants – whether private plaintiffs or the Department of Justice – proceeding under the Sherman Act? Section 5 of the FTC Act prohibits “unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce” – language which some have interpreted as equivalent in scope with parallel provisions of the Sherman Act. As recent Supreme Court decisions have appeared to narrow the scope of the Sherman Act, however, the FTC has moved in the opposite direction. In addition to the Valassis and U-Haul “invitation to collude” cases (a cause of action not recognized under the Sherman Act), the FTC has pursued so-called “Sherman Act plus” antitrust actions against N-Data and Intel. Is this seeming divergence between FTC Act and Sherman Act enforcement authority legally defensible? What are its broader policy implications?
The Corporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice Group hosted this panel on "'New' Antitrust Enforcement Authority under the FTC Act" on Thursday, November 14, during the 2013 National Lawyers Convention.
Corporations: 'New' Antitrust Enforcement Authority under the FTC Act: Defensible Statutory Interpretation or Plumbing the Penumbras?
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.