Testimony preview: Genachowski on net neutrality

Genachowski:

"In my view, while critically important, antitrust laws alone would not adequately preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet or provide enough certainty and confidence to drive investment in our innovation future.

"As we heard during our FCC proceeding, antitrust enforcement is expensive to pursue, takes a long time, and kicks in only after damage is done. Especially for start-ups in a fast-moving area like the Internet, that’s not a practical solution.

"Some have suggested that Congress adopt new antitrust laws addressingInternet openness. But that too would be a problematic approach, ill-suited to the fast-changing nature of Internet technology. As the Supreme Court has pointed out, while statutes are hard to change in light of new developments in network technology or markets, expert administrative agencies have flexible processes for dealing with the unexpected and are, accordingly, better suited for handling this particular issue.

"The Supreme Court decision in Trinko raises additional uncertainty about relying solely on antitrust laws as a remedy in the context of communications services. Indeed, writing for the Court, Justice Scalia observed that antitrust laws can be particularly difficult to apply to technical communications issues and emphasized the comparative advantages of the FCC as an expert agency on communications issues."