The number of holes in the Google-Verizon "lets be a bit naughty if not downright evil together" plan is quite extraordinary. Eric Schmidt always had something of the night about him and this appears to have his fingerprints all over it, not simply on the WashPost op-ed.
In short, it is a transparent cave-in by Google that makes Verizon into the equivalent of Ofcom - a competition-oriented watchdog on behalf of ISPs not consumers on this one. It is quite laughable that the two companies who do most to regulate East Coast Americans' wired and wireless Internet experience should make that US hairline distinction that: as we're not government (bad) but corporations (good), we're not regulators (bad) but consumer enablers (good).
You're regulators, not "Google and Verizon are neither regulators nor legislators".
By the by, as Vodafone owns a huge chunk of Verizon Wireless (the bit that makes real money), its no surprise that they kept well out of the way of the announcement yesterday but will be pouring honeyed words into European regulators' ears about how net neutrality is no longer a problem - for them.
An obvious outcome from yesterday is that when Google is dragged backwards through an antitrust investigation by the EC or DoJ, it will find no favours from civil society after this betrayal. James Grimmelman explains exactly how they are the smartest guys in the room. Al Franken has had a Twitter boost in opposing the deal.
Good luck, Google - you thought China was sticky in terms of political support, you'll find that was a storm in a delicate teacup.
UPDATE: FCC enforcement means in this context self-regulation with very minimal co-regulatory oversight, as Karl Bode explains: