Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

This book review takes a critical review of the claim advanced by Susan Crawford in Captive Audience that the merger between Comcast and NBC Universal would harm consumers and that policymakers should instead promote common carriage regulation and subsidize municipal symmetrical gigabit fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). First it evaluates the extent to which next-generation digital subscriber lines (DSL) and wireless broadband technologies can serve as effective substitutes for cable modem service, identifying FCC data showing that the market has become increasingly competitive and likely to continue to do so. Furthermore, the market is not structured in a way that would permit the combination between content and conduit to harm competition. Furthermore, past attempts to recalibrate the balance between content producers and distribution channels have had the unintended consequence of reducing incentives to invest in network infrastructure. It can also deter technical leadership and innovation within the communications platform itself.

Comments

127 Harv. L. Rev. 914 (2014).