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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ammori: problems with FCC's proposed exclusive fast lanes

Marvin with deep dive analysis of why non-FRAND Specialized Services are a terrible idea:
"Startups would never have the money to buy the exclusives and thus would be at a disadvantage. If we had this model years ago, we’d probably all be using Alta Vista not Google, MySpace not Facebook, and Digg not Reddit. And talk about a fast lane—the FCC is proposing to adopt these rules by the end of the year.
The chairman’s proposal would authorize exclusives through the operative language in Paragraph 126 of last week’s proposal: “we propose to adopt a rebuttable presumption that a broadband provider’s exclusive (or effectively exclusive) arrangement prioritizing service to an affiliate would be commercially unreasonable.”
Translation: The FCC is saying that exclusive deals between a “broadband provider” (this means Comcast, Verizon, or AT&T) and an “affiliate” (a company it owns or co-owns) should be presumed to be illegal, and the provider would have to prove otherwise. So an exclusive deal between Comcast and a site it owns, such as, would be presumed illegal.
But—and this is key—other exclusive deals would be presumed legal. Comcast could make premium exclusives with any of the millions of sites it doesn’t own, extracting cash from to disadvantage Airbnb, from iCloud over Google Drive or Microsoft SkyDrive, from Amazon AWS over Google AppEngine Facebook’s Parse or Microsoft’s Azure, and from the Atlantic or Vox over Slate. (Sacrilege!)"

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