Google threatens anti-trust lawsuits over net neutrality

Written by Brett Thomas

July 5, 2006 // 8:12 p.m.

Tags: #anti-trust #congress #google #net-neutrality #senate

It appears that the giants are finally stepping into the ring regarding the possible 'preferrential treatment' of certain sites by cable and high-speed internet providers. Net-neutrality is a rather hot issue right now, but most companies are treating it more like a hot potato until a better idea of who will be the winner appears.

However, that hasn't stopped Google, who officially issued a statement on Tuesday, putting its proverbial foot down. The statement threatened anti-trust lawsuits should a bill be passed allowing 'unequal' net access for those companies who pay providers.

The US Senate Committee approved the framework for a sweeping communications reform last week, and Google wants to let them know it's watching for safeguards to be put in place.

The whole net neutrality issue stems from high-speed telecom companies, who are also the backbone of the US internet providers, wanting to provide subscription television content. This will require significant bandwidth, reducing the amount available to 'unaffiliated' content.

The likely outcome would be a "virtual payola" system, where internet sites would need to pay companies to guarantee better delivery of their site in an already crowded pipeline.

You can read more on the statement (and net neutrality) at Reuters.

It's nice to see Google taking its motto of 'Do no evil' seriously enough to attempt imposing it on Congress... one has to hope that lawmakers actually bother to listen, however.

Have you got a thought on net neutrality? Drop it in our forums while you still can... we're not much into paying your ISP for the privilege.

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