Battle for Wireless Spectrum Heating Up

  Wireless spectrum promises to become one of the hottest commodities of the 21st Century. The radio spectrum, a limited resource, is the range of radio frequencies on which wireless communications may travel. Just as certain domain names or posh physical addresses are valuable, certain portions of the spectrum can be very valuable to business, government, the military and community service and protection, Read More

FTC Urges Restraint On Internet Regs

  The FTC has come out against new legislation that would regulate pricing for high-speed Internet access. The primary issue is "net neutrality;" the idea that all customers should pay the same price for their Internet access, no matter how they use it. Major ISPs want the ability to charge customers more for higher bandwidth content or more reliably. The FTC says that they and the Department of Read More

Google Challenges Vista on Antitrust

  Microsoft has returned to the antitrust spotlight based on a complaint filed by Google with the United States Department of Justice. The government response to the complaints, however, appears to be substantially less imposing than the Clinton administration’s battle of the late 1990s.   First, the “soap opera” reason is that Thomas O. Barnett, a top government official, sent a letter to many state Read More

FCC Loses on Profanity

  The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently ruled that the FCC’s policy of penalizing broadcasters for accidental expletives was “arbitrary and capricious” and would likely run afoul of the First Amendment. The court said all speech covered by the FCC's indecency policy was fully protected by the First Amendment.   Bottom Line: This is good news for the networks, who have complained for Read More

US Under Siege for Online Gambling

  One of the Republican Congress’s last actions before being defeated in the 2006 elections was attaching a bill that restricted online gambling transactions to a port security bill. The bill easily passed and a nation that had recently shown a strong interest in online gambling found that it was now prevented from funding their online gambling accounts. Most of the popular services for transferring funds to Read More

DoubleClick + Google: Part I: Antitrust

  The recently announced proposed acquisition of DoubleClick by Google has caused Microsoft to note its concerns about privacy and the possibility of anti-competitive results in online advertising. Microsoft has two primary concerns: (1) potential market domination by the new entity and (2) privacy concerns. We address the antitrust issues.   When thinking about antitrust issues, there are several Read More

FCC Limits Pretexting Practices

  Taking action that will lead to greater protection for consumers, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced new rules designed to protect consumers from pre-texting as a means to invade the privacy of telephone consumers. According to the FCC “pretexting” is the practice of pretending to be a particular customer or other authorized person in order to obtain access to that customer’s call Read More

Correct Call on Cell Phones in Sky

  The FCC has announced that the current rule banning cell phone usage during flight will remain in effect until possible "future consideration."   This decision, seemingly an easy one, is unquestionably the right policy. The primary argument for allowing wireless phones on commercial flights during air travel is grounded in a "pro-business" argument. The only business that would Read More