September 2011

[Cross posted at Truthonthemarket]

As I have posted before, I was disappointed that the DOJ filed against AT&T in its bid to acquire T-Mobile.  The efficacious provision of mobile broadband service is a complicated business, but it has become even more so by government’s meddling.  Responses like this merger are both inevitable and essential.  And Sprint and Cellular South piling on doesn’t help — and, as Josh has pointed out, further suggests that the merger is actually pro-competitive.

Tomorrow, along with a great group of antitrust attorneys, I am going to pick up where I left off in that post during a roundtable discussion hosted by the American Bar Association.  If you are in the DC area you should attend in person, or you can call in to listen to the discussion–but either way, you will need to register here.  There should be a couple of people live tweeting the event, so keep up with the conversation by following #ABASAL.

Panelists:
Richard Brunell, Director of Legal Advocacy, American Antitrust Institute, Boston
Allen Grunes, Partner, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Washington
Glenn Manishin, Partner, Duane Morris LLP, Washington
Geoffrey Manne, Lecturer in Law, Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland
Patrick Pascarella, Partner, Tucker Ellis & West, Cleveland

Location: 
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. 1700 K St. N.W. Fifth Floor Washington, D.C. 20006

For more information, check out the flyer here.

For Forbes this morning, I reflect on the publication late last week of the FCC’s “Open Internet” or net neutrality rules and their impact on spectrum auctions past and future.  Hint:  not good.

An important study last year by Prof. Faulhaber and Prof. Farber, former chief economist and chief technologist, respectively, for the FCC, found that the last-minute imposition of net neutrality limits on the 700 MHz “C” block in the FCC’s 2008 auction reduced the winning bid by 60%–a few billion dollars for the Treasury.

Yet the FCC maintained in the December Report and Order approving similar rules for all broadband providers that the cost impact of these “prophylactic” rules would be minimal, because, after all, they simply endorse practices most providers already follow.  (And the need for the new rules, then, came from where?)

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