U.S. Wireless Competition Criticism “Believe it or not!”

With due credit to "Ripley's Believe it or Not!®," so much odd and bizarre is happening in Washington in the "name" of "U.S. wireless competition criticism” that the topic calls for its own collection of: "Believe it or Not!®" oddities.

Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son, who bought Sprint for $21b in 2013 with public plans “to become the #1 company in the world,” tells U.S. regulators just eight months after he bought Sprint, that Softbank-Sprint cannot compete with either of America’s #1 and #2 wireless providers, Verizon and AT&T, unless Softbank can buy America’s #4 wireless provider -- T-Mobile! 

FCC’s Open Internet Order Do-over – Key Going Forward Takeaways

As the dust has settled from the D.C. Circuit’s January 14thdecision to vacate and remand the FCC Open Internet Order for another try, and from FCC Chairman Wheeler’s February 19thstatement accepting the court’s invitation to propose open Internet rules that could pass court muster, what does it all this mean going forward?

First, we need to glean the key separate baseline takeaways from what the court ruled and also what Chairman Wheeler initially decided. Then we need to put them together to glean what the big going-forward takeaways are.

Court Decision Takeaways

Open Letter on Google’s Opposition to Distracted Driving Legislation

To: All State Legislators, State Attorneys General, and State/Local Police Chiefs

In Reuter’s article, “Google Sets Roadblocks to Stop Distracted Driver Legislation,” we learn “Google is lobbying officials in at least three U.S. States to stop proposed restrictions on driving with headsets such as Google Glass.”

As your States carefully consider the potential safety repercussions of a rapidly increasing number of drivers using Google Glass on your State’s roads in the years ahead, it is in the public interest to be keenly aware of two important facts.

  1. Google Glass is very distracting.
  2. Google often shows a reckless disregard for people’s safety.  

 Why Google Glass is the Epitome of Distracted Driving

Google’s Extensive Cover-up

How come the company whose success depends entirely on the public being open, transparent and trusting towards Google, is so closed, secretive and distrusting toward the public?

How come the company with a mission to make the world’s information universally accessible, goes to such extraordinary lengths to cover up evidence in legal documents in public proceedings?

European media could learn an important lesson from their American media brethren about confronting Google’s extensive cover up of the evidence of their wrongdoing in legal proceedings.

In Europe, there was surprisingly little media pushback initially when Google and EC Vice President Joaquin Almunia first proclaimed a secret settlement of charges of Google’s abuse of its search dominance.

The Narrowing Net Neutrality Dispute – My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please see my latest Daily Caller op-ed: “The Narrowing Net Neutrality Dispute.”

  • It puts the recent positive Netflix-Comcast IP interconnection agreement into the broader net neutrality context.

It is Part 24 of my Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom Series.  

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Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom Series

Part 1: Netflix' Glass House Temper Tantrum Over Broadband Usage Fees [7-26-11]

Part 2: Netflix' Uneconomics [9-6-11]

Comcast’s Merger in Perspective – My Daily Caller Op-ed

Anyone interested in some perspective on the over-the-top criticisms of the pending Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, please read my latest Daily Caller op-ed: “Comcast’s Merger in Perspective.”  

Don’t Miss Great AEI Report on EU Lagging US in Broadband

Anyone interested in broadband policy should not miss the excellent new research of Roslyn Layton, an AEI Internet economist, who has studied European broadband progress as compared to America’s.

Let me flag two big research takeaways that should not be missed.

  • “… per capita [broadband] investment in the U.S. is twice that of Europe, and the gap is growing.”
  • Then there is the claim that Americans pay more for broadband than Europeans. As I point out in my report, critics forget to include the impact of value added taxes (as high as 27% in some countries) and compulsory media license fees (adding hundreds of dollars per year to the cost of every broadband subscription). When accounting for these real differences, Americans pay less for broadband.”

These findings affirm the wisdom of America’s market-led broadband policy that encourages facilities-based broadband competition over the EU’s lagging, common carrier, monopoly-unbundling, approach to broadband.   

Open Letter to EC Commissioners to Reject Google Settlement

Dear European Commission Official,

The sovereign problems with the proposed Google-EC settlement are that it:

  • Does nothing to address how Google unlawfully gained, and continues to unlawfully extend, its EU online dominance; and
  • Allows Google to evade accountability to EU rule of law.

Simply it represents an unwarranted special EC pardon for Google’s illegal 90% search/search advertising dominance and its many illegal abuses of dominance.

Moreover, it is not in the EC’s interests to prematurely shut down the Google search investigation for the convenience of just one EC Directorate’s artificial timetable, when that would undermine the ongoing investigation of additional allegations of Google abuses of its search dominance, like Google search-Android tying, and when it would undermine the good efforts of other EC Directorates trying to get Google to be accountable to EU data protection, tax, copyright, patent, and other laws.

Making matters worse, the proposed settlement would have no deterrent capability to prevent more Google abuses of its dominance in the future. That’s because allowing Google to publicly claim it has done nothing wrong, when it has per the draft Statement of Objections, shields Google from the only thing Google cares about – potential harm to Google’s brand reputation with its users.

NetCompetition Statement on Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

February 13, 2014

 

Contact:  Scott Cleland 703-217-2407

 

The Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger is Pro-competitive,

 

The Communications Marketplace Has Never Been More Competitive,

 

And American Consumers Have Never Had More Communications Choices

 

Mobile & Cloud Competition & Innovation are Dynamically Changing Communications 

 

WASHINGTON D.C. – The following quotes on the announcement of the Comcast-Time-Warner Cable merger may be attributed to Scott Cleland, Chairman of NetCompetition:

 

  • “Not only is the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger pro-competitive, via the improvement of services and innovation for millions of Americans and many thousands of businesses, this merger also is occurring in the most competitive communications marketplace with the most consumer choices ever. It should be approved”

 

Government Broadband Overbuilds Are Anticompetitive – Part 5 Big GoverNet series

For those interested in municipal broadband overbuilds and their effect on competition, please read my latest Daily Caller op-ed: “Government Broadband Overbuilds Are Anticompetitive.”

  • This is Part 5 of my Big GoverNet research series.

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Big GoverNet research series:

Part 1: Cities learning there is no wireless “free lunch” [9-20-07]

Part 2: Why the Australian “Fiber Mae” Broadband Model Doesn’t Work for the U.S. [5-13-09]

Part 3: Why Broadband is not a Public Utility [8-21-09]

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths