Netflix’s Hastings: Never Mind. We Don’t Need FCC Net Neutrality After All. The Market Does Just Fine.

by Mike Wendy on March 17, 2017

Earlier today, the Verge reported:

“Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says he’s ‘not too worried’ about what will happen if new FCC chairman Ajit Pai eliminates the Title II regulations that have guaranteed a neutral internet experience for US consumers in recent years.

“Speaking to a group of journalists at Netflix’s headquarters in Los Gatos, California, earlier today, Hastings said he believes ‘the culture around net neutrality is very strong. The expectations of consumers are very strong. So even if the formal framework gets weakened,’ he continued, ‘we don’t see a big risk actualizing, because consumers know they’re entitled to getting all of the web services.’”

Translation: “Never mind. The marketplace doesn’t need FCC-regulated Net Neutrality after all. It can take care of itself.”

Sure, that’s nice to hear. It confirms what we have long-believed in and advocated for.

Still, I wouldn’t place too much stock in Hastings’ newfound religion. Netflix is well-versed in tooling the public and regulators to achieve its own self-interested ends. This looks to be more of the same.

If it says anything, it’s yet further proof that Net Neutrality was only ever just a game to be played by the very biggest companies in the world to gain competitive advantage over others.

In a letter to the FCC this week, Oracle said it best:

“…The prior Commission orchestrated a shift of network control from those that invest in the network to those that do not, and a shift in welfare from those that were regulated to those that were not…The FCC should no longer adopt policies that merely serve certain companies’ business interests, either through handing over new business lines and markets to those companies or inhibiting would-be competitors in adjacent markets from offering new competition…”

It sure did; it sure shouldn’t.

Now we have a new FCC.  One that believes in the marketplace – which can take care of itself pretty well.

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