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Why Verizon Wins Appeal of FCC's Net Regs

See my Forbes Tech Capitalist post here "Why Verizon Wins Appeal of FCC's Net Regs."

  • It analyzes why the FCC's net neutrality regulations will offend the Court of Appeals and why they are highly likely to be overturned.
  • This is one of the most poorly defended FCC decisions I have reviewed in my twenty years following the FCC.

Why FCC Net Neutrality Regs Are So Vulnerable

See my Forbes Tech Capitalist post on net neutrality here, entitled: Why FCC Net Neutrality Regs Are so Vulnerable.

Opposing "The Verge" of Socialism -- My latest Forbes Tech Capitalist post

Please see my Forbes Tech Capitalist blog "Opposing "The Verge" of Socialism" here, which rebuts Joshua Topolsky's Washington Post column: "Want better wireless service in America? Socialize it."

AT&T/T-Mobile: DOJ's Achilles Heel is Ignoring Competition Facts

The broader evidence of competitive price pressure in the U.S. mobile marketplace that the DOJ has ignored and excluded in its gerrymandered market definition -- is the DOJ case's Achilles Heel.

 

  • Remember, the DOJ has the burden of proof here to prove the deal will "substantially lessen competition," based on the preponderance of the evidence.
  • The DOJ's suspect market definition puts the DOJ in the unenviable position of convincing the judge to ignore vast swaths of evidence of competitive price pressures, growing choices   facts and evidence that average consumers are well aware of that seriously undercut the DOJ's contrived market definition and conclusion.

 

While layman may not understand that the DOJ's HHI concentration indices are not determinative, this experienced Judge certainly does.

 

Top Ten Flaws in DOJ's Case Against AT&T-T-Mobile

The DOJ lawsuit against the AT&T/TMobile merger has many serious flaws that will make it difficult for the DOJ to meet its burden of proof in court that this merger is anti-competitive.

 

  • Court cases are precedent, fact, and merit driven, and DOJ's case is much weaker in those critical dimensions than most appreciate or reports indicate.
  • (See DOJ's release here and the DOJ's complaint here.)

Importantly, if the DOJ ultimately cannot prove this merger is anti-competitive in a court of law, that official legal decision would make it legally difficult for the FCC to block the merger on competition grounds under the FCC's public interest standard, especially given that the merger would bring more broadband speed more quickly to more Americans, and create jobs, which the FCC's claims are their top public interest priorities.

  • Simply, the precedents, facts, and merits are friends of the proposed AT&T-T-Mobile deal.

I.   Summary of Top Ten Flaws in DOJ's Case

 

FreePress Cries Wolf -- Yet Again

FreePress with its "all complaints all the time" approach to advocacy has been caught once again "crying wolf" when there was no real problem or threat.

A new FCC study that shows ISPs are effectively delivering on the broadband speeds they advertise, exposes FreePress for crying wolf -- yet again.

  • FreePress has to acknowledge Verizon's FIOs far exceeds advertised speeds, Comcast and Charter exceed advertised speeds, and other ISPs are more than close enough to advertised speeds to show that there is not a problem here for the FCC to be concerned about.

FreePress also continues to cry wolf about its spurious tethering" complaint against Verizon because users are prevented from unauthorized tethering of additional devices trying to bypass users' terms of service agreement.

AT&T/T-Mobile: Three Key Realities Why Merger Gets Approved

In the end, the U.S. Government is highly-likely to approve the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, despite the significant opposition, because of three over-riding realities: 1) market/financial realities, 2)DOJ legal/precedent realities, and 3) FCC public-interest realities.

 

I.    Market Reality:

T-Mobile's leadership and owners have decided that they are unable and unwilling to invest what is necessary in order to compete going forward in the American 4G wireless market, and given that fundamental premise, the AT&T/T-Mobile merger is the optimal market outcome for T-Mobile's customers and for competition.

 

  • T-Mobile shopped itself for a good while in order to fully test its market options and ultimately chose to merge with AT&T as the best outcome for all concerned from its perspective.

 

So the key baseline fact grounding the DOJ/FCC's decision processes here, is that T-Mobile's leaders/funders are effectively exiting this business one way or another long term via merger, sale or benign neglect.

Netflix' Glass House Temper Tantrum over Broadband Usage Fees

Netflix continues to throw stones at the common economic practice of usage-based pricing, to which broadband carriers are naturally migrating, all while Netflix stands inside a glass house filled with mis-managed usage pricing practices. 

Netflix as Stone Thrower:

In a concerted campaign for net neutrality regulation that would ban broadband usage caps or pricing, Netflix has generated a:

Netflix as Glass House:

FCC Denies the Effective Wireless Competition Staring it in the Face -- Internet Competition Series Part III

In another blow to its competition policy credibility and objectivity, the FCC's 308 page, 15th Wireless Competition Report, amazingly reached no conclusion about whether the wireless market was effectively competitive, despite overwhelming evidence of effective competition throughout the report and a dearth of evidence in the report of any discernible anti-competitive issues that would suggest the wireless market was somehow not effectively competitive.

 

  • The stark incongruity between the overwhelming evidence in the report, and the absence of what should have been an easy report conclusion that the wireless market is effectively competitive, is certainly not "data-driven policy making at work.
  • It appears to be politics at work to support and provide political cover for the FCC's maverick policy desire to promote de-competition policy and more expansive FCC economic regulation and common carrier-like duties a la net neutrality and data roaming -- in the face of strong opposition from Congress and the Courts that the FCC is over-reaching its statutory authority.

 

If only the FCC absorbed the significance of the data compiled in their own report, the FCC would conclude that the wireless market was effectively competitive.

 

FCC Wireless Competition Deniers Need an Open Mind to the Facts

If reports are true that the FCC is planning on claiming in its upcoming wireless competition report that the FCC cannot conclude that the U.S. wireless market is effectively competitive, then the FCC is neither "data-driven" as it claims, nor in touch with market reality.

  • Don't miss the latest CTIA assessment of U.S. wireless competition and innovation HERE.
  • The facts and evidence are overwhelmingly indicative of vibrant competition.

If the FCC is a wireless competition denier in the upcoming wireless competition report, despite the overwhelming factual evidence to the contrary, the FCC seriously risks its going-forward credibility with Congress, the Courts, industry and the public.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths