FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Tech at Night: George Soros wins over AT&T, SOPA and PROTECT IP battle continues, FTC to take on Google?
Top story tonight is of course the major win by the triple alliance of George Soros and his front groups like Public Knowledge, Sprint Nextel, and the Obama administration’s dual agency of the FCC and the DoJ. Yes, AT&T has given up on acquiring T-Mobile. I believe they will now have to pay a sizable fee to T-Mobile as compensation.
This is bad news for those who respect property rights and for those who favor competition in the market, as Mike Wendy notes at Media Freedom. AT&T will be short of spectrum, as TechFreedom notes, a key reason competition will be reduced. It’s not just AT&T users hurt; anyone who now would not be interested in switching to AT&T due to inferior 4G LTE rollout now suffers from less leverage in the marketplace. That can only result in sustained high prices for 4G Internet service.
When this news broke I was so mad I could burst. But hours have passed and now I’m just disappointed.
Some will criticize AT&T over this, but be careful. Much of that will be inside baseball, saying that no matter how wrong the policy may have been, AT&T should have been better prepared for the triple alliance it faced, and should have done more to get out in front of the issue, and quickly. That’s probably true, but it doesn’t justify the firm (as well as T-Mobile) being victimized here.
SOPA issues continue. Lamar Smith is still looking at Wednesday to take the issue back up in the Judiciary Committee. Meanwhile Harry Reid wants to take the issue up in the Senate but Ron Wyden promises to filibuster. I sure hope we can find enough of our own to back him. There’d better be enough GOP votes on that. Again, we’re taking names, folks. I hope you are, too.
Smith says Barack Obama supports SOPA. If Obama wants to promise a SOPA veto, now’s the time. Then again, that might hurt his next Hollywood fundraiser at $5 zillion a plate. What’s interesting though is that The SOPA debate is being linked to the age-old California norht/south fight between the two centers of power in state: Los Angeles and San Francisco. Thank goodness, too. California would be even worse off if the state had centralized Democrat power, as they have in Illinois with Chicago.
By the way, in a PATENT WARS/SOPA joint mention: Apple beats HTC at the ITC, a demonstration that US firms are perfectly capable of using it, which proves Darrell Issa’s point on why the OPEN Act is better than SOPA.
More PATENT WARS: Samsung tries an offensive against Apple in Germany. It won’t work but boy are we sure churning cash and wasting time with this lawyer-friendly patent system. Wasn’t it so smart to emulate that messed up European system by passing America Invents Act? Good grief.
We dropped some spectrum reform from the payroll tax deal. I’m going to go ahead and express no opinion on this. I want spectrum reform very much but I also want that payroll tax cut to be extended or ideally made permanent. I’m torn, and so will just report what happened.
The NTSB has heard the pleas of the rabble, and has denied them. Y’all know what to do now, folks. The TEA Party ought to be great for fighting this kind of arrogance.
And we’ll close with Google. I admit that on the heels of the AT&T defeat, I’m reluctant to encourage Obama regulators to do much of anything. Particularly when Google seems to have learned its lesson, I’m not sure it’s time to sic the FTC on them. Mike Lee is one of ours though, and his request deserves due consideration. Saul Anuzis also chimes in at RedState on the matter, so I’m perfectly content to let the matter run its course.