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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2012-04-03 14:39
FreePress' latest net neutrality folly and political agitation is pushing the SEC to make shareholders from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint vote on inappropriate, ill-advised, and unwarranted proposed shareholder resolutions in favor of wireless net neutrality in the weeks ahead.
Let me count the ways this is a waste of time and abuse of process.
First, it inappropriately and destructively attempts to politicize non-political entities, by trying to force a public political position from non-political corporate entities, whose contractual and fiduciary responsibility to shareholders is to economically/financially grow the value and profitability of the corporation.
Second, the appropriate place to have political votes is in legitimate political processes, elections or representative votes or decisions by elected officials at the appropriate local, state, and Federal level, which enjoy the constitutional, political, and relevant authority and legitimacy to decide political issues in a meaningful, substantive and productive way.
Third, the operative authority here for shareholders, the companies' shareholder agreements, corporate charter, and bylaws, are legally grounded on a contractual agreement between the company and shareholder to protect and grow the shareholders investment in the company, not to promote extra-political positions that actually could endanger the underlying purpose of the shareholders agreements.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2012-03-21 19:41
The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on the proposed Verizon-Cable spectrum sale flushed out the opposition's best arguments and evidence and they proved surprisingly weak and sparse.
Behind the façade of FreePress' trademark bumper-sticker bluster of "a competition crisis," "a creeping duopoly," and "spectrum warehousing," there was very little substance to back up their pejorative assertions.
FreePress' bogus duopoly deception is the core weakness of the opposition to this commercial agreement. To believe there is a Verizon-AT&T wireless duopoly, one has to:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-03-19 18:54
Hopefully, the March 21st Senate Judiciary Subcommittee oversight hearing on the Verizon-Cable spectrum transaction will be a fair hearing based on the competitive facts and the law, and is not allowed to be hijacked politically by FreePress' signature gamesmanship.
I. FreePress Fiction
It is disturbing that two of the three hearing witnesses opposing the Verizon-Cable agreement are from FreePress: Joel Kelsey, FreePress' Policy Advisor and Tim Wu, who was FreePress' Chairman just thirteen months ago and has been a longtime FreePress board member.
It is curious and troubling that the Senate Subcommittee specializing in "competition policy" would seek testimony from two anti-profit, anti-property-rights adherents who don't believe competition policy can work.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2012-03-13 13:44
The March 21st Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing reviewing the Verizon-cable agreements provides Congress with an opportunity to learn:
Given that the DOJ has such weak grounds and facts under antitrust law to challenge the Verizon-cable commercial agreements, and given that the spectrum transfer is in the public interest in multiple dimensions, opponents appear to be pushing the FCC to do whatever necessary to try and block Verizon-cable under the FCC's make-it-up-as-they-go-along public interest standard.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-03-05 10:57
Mobile technology advances are dramatically increasing the intensity of competition broadly online and offline. The technological convenience of using a smart phone, tablet etc. rather than a card or cash to pay for goods and services, wherever one may be, is igniting a competitive free-for-all.
Activists and regulators who fear a potential new communications "opoly" lurking around every corner -- in need of preemptive government intervention to protect consumers from the convenience, savings and benefits of a highly-competitive marketplace -- need to take a breath, enjoy, and get out of the way of this amazing technological convergence and innovation over mobile payments.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-03-01 17:40
Activist carping about the commercial Internet being commercial is revving up again, this time with the carping focused on framing new broadband usage-pricing innovations by Time Warner Cable and AT&T, as somehow a violation of the "open web."
To cut to the quick and translate what is really going on politically here, this activist carping is the latest attempt to revive and re-fight the manufactured net neutrality debate between:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2012-02-24 18:36
The evidence below shows the Verizon-Cable agreement is clearly in the public interest, if the FCC fairly reviews the agreement and all of the relevant facts, in the full context of the highly competitive wireless ecosystem.
Top Reasons Why Verizon-Cable Agreement is in the Public Interest
Increases competition: The agreement increases competition because it enables:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2012-02-10 10:22
I will be on the CPAC Digital Liberty panel today with FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, Kelly Cobb of ATR and Ryan Radia of CEI.
The very important sleeper issue I expect we will spotlight for the CPAC audience is the imminent threat to the Internet from a China/Russia-led effort to get the United Nations' International Telecommunications Union to regulate the Internet similar to the way they regulate telephony and postal service, via a renegotiation of the treaty that affects telecommunications in Dubai in December 2012.
UN regulation of the Internet would kill the proverbial goose that laid the golden egg, by locking in the past and making innovation difficult in the future.
This is a not so subtle effort to undermine and slow America's high tech innovation leadership in the world by miring U.S. Internet companies in the ITU regulatory swamp.
UN regulation of the Internet is a big, under-appreciated, looming threat to freedom and economic growth.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2012-02-07 10:22
There are huge fiscal problems with the FCC's position, given our nation's severe fiscal situation: a trillion dollar Federal budget deficit and a ballooning multi-trillion dollar public debt.
First, the real world effect of the FCC's gambit here is to try and get revenue-raising legislation to not raise many billions of dollars.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2012-01-17 10:23
At CES, the FCC signaled that it opposed any effort by Congress to give the FCC policy direction or to establish any checks and balances on the FCC in authorizing incentive auctions of prime TV broadcast spectrum.
See my Forbes Tech Capitalist post "FCC Seeks Unbounded Spectrum Auction Authority" to see why the the FCC's lack of regulatory humility here is so stunning.