Video game industry group joins net neutrality lawsuit

Video game industry group joins net neutrality lawsuit
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A lobbying group representing the video game industry has filed to join a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), seeking to overturn the board's decision to end the Obama-era net neutrality rules.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) on Wednesday filed a motion for leave to intervene in a case brought by several Democratic attorneys general looking to reverse the FCC's December decisions to overturn the rules.

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In the court filing, the lobbying group accuses the FCC of allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to "take actions that could jeopardize the fast, reliable, and low latency connections that are critical to the video game industry" by overturning provisions that require ISPs to treat all data the same.

"The FCC’s Order eliminates the rules that prevent broadband providers from blocking, throttling, and otherwise interfering with consumers’ access to content online," argues the ESA in court documents.

"Absent these protections, ESA and its member companies will have no effective legal recourse against broadband provider conduct that impairs consumers’ online video game experiences."

A number of major tech companies and industry groups have also filed motions to join the case against the FCC, including Google, Amazon, Facebook and the Writers Guild of America, West, Arstechnica reports.

The FCC, led by Republican Chairman Ajit Pai, voted 3-2 along party lines in December to overturn net neutrality rules supported by Netflix, Google and other major tech companies, arguing the board overstepped its bounds when implementing the rules in 2015.

"Americans will still be able to access the websites they want to visit. They will still be able to enjoy the services they want to enjoy," Pai said in December. "There will still be cops on the beat guarding a free and open internet. This is the way things were prior to 2015, and this is the way they will be once again."