The Net Neutrality Debate: Twenty Five Years After United States v. AT&T and 120 Years After the Act to Regulate Commerce by Bruce Owen

Abstract: Net neutrality policies could only be implemented through detailed price regulation, an approach that has often failed, in the past, to improve consumer welfare relative to what might have been expected under an unregulated monopoly. Regulatory agencies often settle into a well-established pattern of subservience to politically influential economic interests. Consumers, would-be entrants and innovators are not likely to be among these influential groups. History thus counsels against adoption of most versions of net neutrality, at least in the absence of refractory monopoly power and strong evidence of anticompetitive behavior – extreme cases justifying dangerous, long shot remedies.

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