Net Neutrality, a Venue for the FTC?

From public radio’s On the Media, an interview of Jon Liebowitz, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, “FTC Chairman on Privacy, Net Neutrality and the Future of News“:

BOB GARFIELD: One last subject: net neutrality. Earlier this month a federal court ruled that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to regulate broadband, raising the question, who in the government does oversee the Internet. And some have suggested that the FTC can jump right in. Can you?

JON LEIBOWITZ: I do talk to the chairman of the FCC from time to time. We actually play basketball together on weekends. As for our jurisdiction, we can bring cases for deceptive advertising and for anti-trust violations against companies engaged in unfair methods of competition.

But having said that, we’re an agency that covers almost all the economy; we’re an agency of generalists. The FCC is an agency that’s supposed to have expertise in the telecommunications media and, to some extent, the Internet world.

But I do think that preserving the open, non-discriminatory Internet that we’ve all come to appreciate is very, very important, notwithstanding some exaggerated concerns about what the future would hold if there isn’t regulation.

Did the chairman answer the question?

Anyway, interesting interview.

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