A federal court has determined that the FCC does not have the authority to enforce so-called net neutrality rules, which requires broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic, reports the New York Times.
The decision was made today by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and is a big win for cable providers, and especially Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA), which was told by the FCC in 2008 to stop discriminating against customers who used BitTorrent to download large video files. Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) will likely look at this ruling as a setback. As advocates for net neutrality, large Internet brands feared it would limit innovation and consumer choice if operators were able to control how users consumed content. UPDATE: In a statement issued this afternoon, the FCC responded: