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US: Congress at odds on competitive effects of AT&T Internet deal

 |  January 7, 2014

Lawmakers are voicing opposing views on the competitive effects of wireless giant AT&T’s latest marketing strategy, which implements a sponsored data program for customers to access Internet, courtesy of those sponsors.

Reports say House Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA) slammed the deal, arguing it places the company “in the business of picking winners and losers on the Internet, threatening the open Internet, competition and consumer choice.”

The program, which at face-value appears like a deal for consumers, has “serious implications for fairness and competition in the mobile marketplace,” Representative Eshoo said, who also expressed concern that such a business model would actually place higher costs on consumers in the long-run.

But Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) argues “businesses shouldn’t have to ask the FCC for permission to provide good services consumers demand in our dynamic and competitive environment for cell service.” Blackburn serves as the House Commerce Committee vice-chair.

Full Content: The Hill

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