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Net Neutrality: The Power to Act

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Teleforum July 29, 02:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

After suffering two judicial setbacks already, most recently in the D.C. Circuit’s Verizon v. FCC decision this past January, the Federal Communications Commission is once again proposing to adopt new net neutrality regulations. The proposed regulations would bar internet service providers from blocking access to any lawful website or from engaging in commercially unreasonable practices. A key aspect of the FCC’s proposal drawing considerable attention concerns whether the FCC should bar so-called paid prioritization of internet traffic.

In this Teleforum, two experts with divergent views will address whether there is any need for the FCC to adopt any new neutrality regulations and, if so, whether the agency possesses the legal authority to do so. There are two principal legal theories that may support FCC action that we will discuss – using the FCC’s existing authority under Section 706 of the Communications Act or classifying internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Act. The panelists will also discuss the most important question of all: whether and how net neutrality regulation might affect consumer welfare.

  • Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • Prof. Daniel Lyons, Boston College Law School
  • Michael Weinberg, Vice President, Public Knowledge
  • Moderator: Randolph J. May, President, The Free State Foundation

The Highs–and Lows–of High-Frequency Trading

Corporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice Group Teleforum July 30, 02:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

While other fields of law are trying to anticipate the future ramifications of the widespread use of drones, robots, and self-driving vehicles, financial markets have already confronted the fact that – for about five years now – automated trading programs have made the majority of all trades in equities and commodities. Automation has substantially reduced the cost of trading, but it has also had profound effects on the structure of financial markets, and has raised questions about its facilitation of allegedly abusive practices. A 2013 documentary, “Ghost Exchange,” and a 2014 best-selling book, Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys, focused public attention on the effects of high-frequency trading (HFT) on market integrity and stability, and helped precipitate a series of aggressive enforcement investigations as well as rulemaking initiatives at financial regulatory agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Our experts will review the state of the debate over HFT, and possible paths forward.

  • Brian Mannix, President, Buckland Mill Associates
  • Joanne Medero, Managing Director, BlackRock Inc.