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FTC Chairman: Policy Makers Should Be ‘Particularly Hesitant’ To Enact Net Neutrality Regs

Proponents of “net neutrality” took a hit from the Federal Trade Commision Wednesday when FTC chairman Deborah Platt Majoras — backed by a new report from the commission’s Internet Access Task Force — recommended caution in regulating a broadband industry “generally … moving toward more — not less — competition.” She continued in a statement: “In the absence of significant market failure or demonstrated consumer harm, policy makers should be particularly hesitant to enact new regulation in this area.”

The task force said the primary reason for caution “is simply that we do not know what the net effects of potential conduct by broadband providers will be on all consumers, including, among other things, the prices that consumers may pay for Internet access, the quality of Internet access and other services that will be offered, and the choices of content and applications that may be available to consumers in the marketplace.”

The commission voted 5-0 to accept the report, which can be found here (pdf). Release.

As you can imagine, the high-speed providers like the report; not sure net neutrality supports really expected to hear anything else.

ArsTechnica: “The ‘hands-off’ approach is the approach preferred by the telecoms, who will also be delighted that Chairman Majoras cleared them of any wrong-doing in their network management so far. Nevertheless, the FTC says that it will continue to monitor the situation, as will the FCC and DOJ.”

WSJ: Paul Misener, VP-global public policy at Amazon, said the FTC report wasn’t surprising and the FCC is the agency that matters in this: “Consumers will demand that Congress force the FCC to act on any net neutrality violations.”