Google Threatens Telcos With Antitrust Action

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If the prospect of a two-tiered Internet system proves to enhance the quality of service of certain traffic for a fee, Google plans to hammer those abusers with antitrust actions.

July Fourth fireworks won’t be limited to pyrotechnic explosions in the sky. Google put the likes of AT&T on notice that the bill approved by the US Senate Commerce Committee should not be construed as a license to abuse its provisions.

A Reuters report cited Google vice-president and evangelist Vint Cerf’s comments in Bulgaria as a warning against telecom chicanery:

“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 on Tuesday.

“My company, along with many others believes that the Internet should stay open and accessible to everyone equally,” Cerf said.

“We are worried that some of the broadband service providers will interfere with that principle and will attempt to use their control over broadband transport facilities to interfere with services of competitors.”

A potential hedge against such actions, the “network neutrality” argument backed by Google and other major Internet companies, did not make it out of committee. Though legislators attempted to measures to the telecom legislation to preserve net neutrality, those were rejected.

Streaming video, and television, have become a big focus for Internet companies, telecoms, and cable providers. All wish to deliver video and TV content to their users who spend more time in front of a computer than a television.

Rising broadband acceptance in the United States has led more people to seek out rich media content. Though the technology to deliver that content has matured greatly, the ways everyone can profit from its delivery, without hoarding those profits, have not been developed nearly as well.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Google Threatens Telcos With Antitrust Action
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