Christopher Yoo gave his talk, and I encourage you to watch it. As you can see from the rather extensive comment thread below, Yoo does not think that my critiques are fair, and he is more than a little bit upset that I trolled him. Nevertheless, upon review of the debate, I believe that you will find that the TL;DR is:
- He admits that his “well established” means of quantifying broadband competition are anything but.
- When I ask him to verify basic assertions that he made in answering my critique (eg: Netflix has historically paid ISPs for “carriage”), he dodges and claims that I don’t understand the industry.
- He thinks that ISPs are incapable of traffic shaping that they were already doing six years ago.
- He admits that ISP discrimination, which has recently helped ISPs to negotiate “paid peering” (a.k.a. reversing the transit relationship), does in fact destroy the “bill-and-keep” model that has historically been de facto for broadband service, and that this discrimination leads to a terminating access problem.
- He claims that, nevertheless, last-mile market power does not exist when “networks at the core of the network engage in settlement-free peering.” I’m not sure why.
- He avoids answering my basic critique of his legal interpretation of Time Warner v. FCC, 240 F.3d 1126, which is key to his “viability” standard.
- He appears to feel that the government should make regulatory decisions based on what feels equitable or at least some economist’s definition of welfare-maximization (presumably a leading-edge neo-schumpeterian n-sided-market economist).
- He accuses me of not reading his scholarship, even after I quote from it liberally, and equates ex-post enforcement of antitrust principles to “regulatory intervention” (I suppose we could have a semantic debate about this one, but the chasm between concrete rules and his notion of antitrust is great.)
- He’s upset that I keep mentioning his own public disclosures of corporate funding. My view is that if you are a decent academic, the degree to which corporate support is relevant is indirectly proportional to the merit of your scholarship. This calculation is an exercise left to the reader.
Today at 12:30, Christopher Yoo will give a live-streamed talk at CITP entitled “The Open Internet in the Aftermath of Verizon v. FCC: What Comes Next?” Yoo will talk about the Verizon v. FCC ruling that overturned the FCC’s network neutrality rules, and place them in the context of the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner. Yesterday, unnamed sources within the FCC gave a possible answer to Yoo’s question: a “fast lane” for sites and services that pay for preferential access to Comcast’s customers. The FCC is reportedly considering new rules that would permit broadband Internet providers to discriminate against specific content as long as they don’t do so in an “anticompetitive manner.” The FCC will then be left to decide what makes for anticompetitive behavior — a domain typically left to antitrust law.