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Tech at Night: Yet more AT&T, T-Mobile, FCC, Google, Net Neutrality

Tech at Night

Remember when I seemed to write about Net Neutrality four times a week, which was really something when I was only posting three times? Well, the AT&T/T-Mobile deal is probably going to get that much discussion for now.

Of course there’s nothing new yet. Discussion is all there is until government actually starts acting. My job is to find the interesting discussion, I suppose. So let’s start with Douglas Holtz-Eakin at NRO, who makes very well the key thing we all must remember when it comes to the wireless market: size isn’t what matters. Competition matters. And as I’ve been saying from the start, taking the sick man in T-Mobile and combining him with the #2 firm only helps competition by putting pressure on the high-flying, LTE-deploying #1 Verizon.

Mike Wendy also continues on a point that members of Congress need to be aware of: the use of consent decrees to pass illegal regulations through the back door, and as a foothold to more power grabs.

Sprint, meanwhile, is plainly desperate to acquire T-Mobile on the cheap, as the firm is making the absurd argument that the TEA party ought to rush in on its side, and call for big government to choose winners and losers in the wireless market. Yeah, right. Because that’s what the TEA party is all about: empowering the Obama administration to rule the economy?

Of course, when it comes to Net Neutrality itself, as much as I’ve talked about the outstanding job the GOP has done in the House on the matter, the Senate is a future battleground on regulation, says Seton Motley. It helps that the Congressional Review Act does not allow for a filibuster on repealing Net Neutrality, but we still need to find a few Democrats to pass this thing.

Remember when Nintendo portables dropped region locking? Well, the 3DS is the end of that, and I don’t think there’s any doubt that the R4 flash cartridge is a big reason for that. By region locking the games, Nintendo mitigates any breaks in this generation’s copy protection. So let’s all thank the looters for ruining it for the rest of us.

Remember Google’s efforts to declare certain copyrights ‘orphaned’ because Google can’t easily get a license? Tom Giovanetti says at TechByte that it’s part of a pattern of behavior of Google’s that shows a lack of respect for property rights.

Meanwhile, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski goes to Brussels, clearly jealous of the European Commission’s relative free hand to regulate as it sees fit, without any Congressional Review Act to worry about, or voters to answer to. In his speech over there, he admits that there is a limited role for government online. If only he’d accept the statutory limits placed on the FCC, and keep his hands off the Internet instead of making power grabs like Net Neutrality!

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