CCIA Agrees FTC Does Not Have Authority To Protect The Open Internet

BY Heather Greenfield
November 1, 2017

Washington – Members of Congress heard from past and current FTC and FCC officials today, including FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny, about how the FTC’s jurisdiction would fall short of being able to protect the Open internet using antitrust law. McSweeny testified before the House Judiciary Committee, weeks ahead of a potential FCC vote to rescind its 2015 Open Internet Order that prevents the big Internet Service Providers from discriminating against online sites and services and prioritizing certain internet traffic.  

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has filed legal briefs, comments, and reply comments telling the FCC that the best way to preserve internet freedom and protect the open internet is for the FCC to maintain the 2015 Open Internet Order, which the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld just last year.

CCIA President & CEO  Ed Black published this op ed in The Hill Tuesday evening ahead of the hearing, and CCIA also released this animated video on how Chairman Pai’s proposal would hurt businesses by allowing a few, big ISPs to force additional fees for internet access. The following can be attributed to Black:

“If the FCC removes itself from enforcing its Open Internet rules, it will be leaving thousands of small businesses at the mercy of a few, big ISPs. Ranking Member Cicilline was right – there is no evidence that antitrust is a substitute for the FCC’s bright line rules. The FTC simply does not have the ability that the FCC does to prevent discrimination online. Any FTC enforcement would happen after the fact — after some startups and small companies are out of business.”

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