With the election looming and the current makeup of the FCC likely nearing its end, Fred Campbell has penned a thorough look at what he describes as the FCC’s “legacy of confusion about competition.” An excerpt:
The Wheeler FCC’s repudiation of economic rigor and legal precedents is an anomaly that should end with this fall’s election. Unfortunately, Wheeler is determined to dictate the economic and engineering of several market segments before his time expires. In the few months he has remaining, Wheeler wants to:
• Dilute copyright protections for digital content, dictate retail pricing, and weaken privacy protections for consumers in the video marketplace (despite an FCC finding from just last year that this market is effectively competitive), all of which threaten to bring television’s second golden age to an end;
• Impose ineffective data regulations just on broadband Internet access providers (while leaving other big data companies untouched) that would give internet edge competitors government-sanctioned competitive advantages in the internet advertising and big data markets at the expense of consumers; and
• Impose new price regulations on business data services to reduce the investment costs of favored companies (like Sprint) at the expense of their competitors.
These last-minute proposals are inconsistent with our fundamental economic policy of promoting competition and private investment, and none of them are premised on the sound, data-driven analyses Wheeler promised.
Check out Campbell’s full piece over at Forbes.