by Daniel A. Lyons
Free State Foundation
June 23, 2014
A proposed interconnection between Netflix and web providers Comcast and Verizon has prompted renewed calls for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to make such agreements public. However, economic theory, antitrust authorities, and empirical evidence all suggest that mandatory disclosure is unlikely to remedy potential anticompetitive conduct in interconnection markets. The publicly available evidence shows that content providers occupy a vibrant, competitive market full of opportunities to bring their goods to consumers. Federal authorities have ample authority to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute specific interconnection practices that they believe may be anticompetitive. Furthermore, antitrust law allows private plaintiffs harmed by allegedly anticompetitive practices to seek civil relief. The FCC should avoid the temptation to disrupt an already-working system and thereby harm the very competition it seeks to protect.



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