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Summary:

Yahoo’s CEO Carol Bartz slammed government involvement in broadband deployments, crappy consumer spending, and said she would would have taken Microsoft’s offer of $36 per share back in 2008, in an interview today on CNBC. However, she didn’t come out against net neutrality.

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz in an interview on CNBC today slammed government involvement in broadband deployments and consumers who are too worried to spend money because they don’t have jobs, and said she would would have taken Microsoft’s offer of $36 per share back in 2008. However, she didn’t come out against net neutrality, despite assertions to the contrary in a tweet from Verizon’s executive director of external communications and an email alerting us to Bartz’s comments from Ted Hearn, VP of communications for the American Cable Association, which read:

On CNBC, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz just said government “should stay out” of regulating broadband access providers. A big crack in the Net Neutrality coalition?

But Bartz didn’t say anything about net neutrality (another member of the debate did). When an anchor asked her how she felt about “the government getting involved in building out the Internet so Yahoo can get into more homes” she replied:

“I think the government should stay out of it. It was wonderful with DARPA and all the science that happened, but people in companies, and company investments are what really brought the Internet to the American public.”

The video, focused on the broadband regulatory debate, is embedded below, but before you watch seven talking heads scream at one another, let me caution you that the facts presented regarding broadband access are based on an older standard of broadband. Also, just because the CEO of Yahoo doesn’t want government involvement in broadband buildout doesn’t mean all tech companies are eager to see the U.S. continue with an anti-competitive duopoly in most towns that keeps innovation down.

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  1. I don’t get to watch alot of CNBC. But man, that was the most useless segment I’ve ever seen. The CNBC people had no idea what they were talking about (that poor guy from Free Press was trying to tell the brunette about the crappy FCC ZIP code data, but she kept trying to correct him, because her producer had armed her with the “facts”). And the “debate” itself was pretty dumb, because the FCC certainly has a role to play in regards to universal service — they play it now!

    Also, Yahoo! CEO should check with her DC office; they certainly are singing a much different tune to the FCC and Congress.

  2. In fact, here’s a filing from Carol Bartz herself to the FCC supporting Net Neutrality from last month:

    http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020384213

    1. Stacey Higginbotham Lilly Floes Tuesday, March 2, 2010

      Thanks Lilly, I was trying to find that. And yes, watching the segment was beyond frustrating.

  3. “just because the CEO of Yahoo doesn’t want government involvement in broadband buildout doesn’t mean all tech companies are eager to see the U.S. continue with an anti-competitive duopoly in most towns that keeps innovation down.”

    The FCC is a major reason that the duopoly exists today. Just look at how auction 73 was designed. Government is exactly why it is anticompetitive. It is quite difficult to be anticompetitive in a more unregulated free market, Stacey.

  4. Richard Bennett Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Carol’s letter wasn’t exactly a rousing endorsement of the “all packets are equal, information wants to be free” theory of net neut. She’s cool.

  5. I don’t believe she evens understands the issue. The government is getting involved and the valley is mostly all on one side — the side she isn’t on, which tells me she doesn’t get the issue. I do not think she understands the web which is why she isn’t qualified to be CEO of Yahoo.

  6. Obviously, there must be something wrong with her if she doesn’t line up with the net neutrality religion. Perhaps she is an apostate?

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