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3 ISPs Have Spent $572 Million To Kill Net Neutrality Since 2008 (dslreports.com) 150

An anonymous reader quotes a report from DSLReports: A study by Maplight indicates that for every one comment submitted to the FCC on net neutrality (and there have been roughly 5 million so far), the telecom industry has spent $100 in lobbying to crush the open internet. The group found that Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) have spent $572 million on attempts to influence the FCC and other government agencies since 2008. "The FCC's decision, slated to be announced later this summer, will be a clear indicator of the power of corporate cash in a Trump administration," notes the report. "Public sentiment is on the side of keeping the Obama administration's net neutrality policies, which prevented internet companies from blocking, slowing or giving priority to different websites." Congressional lobbying forms indicate that Comcast alone has spent nearly $4 million on lobbying Congress on net neutrality issues from the end of 2014 through the first quarter of 2017.

3 ISPs Have Spent $572 Million To Kill Net Neutrality Since 2008

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  • by sarbonn ( 1796548 ) on Thursday July 13, 2017 @09:06AM (#54799785) Homepage Journal
    For me, what I find most interesting is the amount of attention at least two of those entities have paid to trying to convince people that they're not for gutting the rules, yet are waging huge campaigns with their own money to do exactly that.
    • For me, what I find most interesting is the amount of attention at least two of those entities have paid to trying to convince people that they're not for gutting the rules, yet are waging huge campaigns with their own money to do exactly that.

      There's nothing interesting with organizations demonstrating just how fucking stupid and ignorant the average consumer really is.

      It's actually rather sad and pathetic.

      • There's nothing interesting with organizations demonstrating just how fucking stupid and ignorant the average consumer really is.

        Heh, this.

        Of course this is the root of most of the problem.

        Even solving the latter would get us a great deal of the way there....

    • And the obscene amount of money they earn, we could ask for regulated prices here.
    • One of the things I've learned from a friend who has worked in the upper echelons of medium-sized businesses, is that it's actually quite common for a company to lobby against something in public and for it in private - commonly regulations on their industry. Publicly they say they're against it because they're against most regulations and don't want to paint a picture that they're easing up their opposition, but in private they may want a particular regulation for its barriers to entry so they lobby for it

  • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 ) on Thursday July 13, 2017 @09:09AM (#54799799) Homepage

    First is that being a mega ISP is certainly a profitable business.

    Second is that we really need better regulations of that business because that is money which should have been more difficult for them to spend. ie, Economically speaking there should have been a place within the business where that money would have had a much higher return on investment. eg Competitive infrastructure upgrades, R&D, etc. Lobbying/bribing is a poor investment in a competitive environment. Therefore, the environment isn't competitive enough.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Lobbying/bribing is a poor investment in a competitive environment. Therefore, the environment isn't competitive enough.

      The facts say different. Companies would not put all the money into lobbying or cash contributions to lawmakers if it did not have a pay off. My guess is that it has better ROI than R&D money for large companies.

      • by RavenLrD20k ( 311488 ) on Thursday July 13, 2017 @09:38AM (#54799953) Journal

        You haven't said anything that negates the parent's comment. The theory is that if the environment were more competitive, R&D would have a better ROI than lobbying. The current environment of ISPs in the US is a distinct lack of competition, so there's a greater ROI in lobbying than there is in R&D... because in the current state, building out better infrastructure isn't going to get them many more customers, and in many markets there aren't any other options for customers to move to, so they won't lose anything by letting their current infrastructure age and stagnate. In this case it makes more sense to lobby to build more walls against competition.

        So, to reiterate: Parent didn't say that Lobbying/bribing is a poor investment in itself. He said it's a poor investment under the condition that the environment is competitive; and the fact that lobbying/bribing is currently creating a better ROI than R&D would correlates to the fact that there's not nearly enough competition in the ISP market.

        • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

          What exactly does he have to support that position? Suppose Congress decided that all ISPs should be taxed at a 95% rate. Are you really going to claim that they would be better off (as a group) buying routers than lobbying against that?

          Competition has nothing to do with this issue. This is not ISP 'A' lobbying to prevent ISP 'B' from doing something. It is the ISPs AS A GROUP who are fighting regulation of their industry. It wouldn't matter if there was one or a thousand ISPs, the industry, as a whole

          • by swb ( 14022 )

            Suppose Congress decided that all ISPs should be taxed at a 95% rate. Are you really going to claim that they would be better off (as a group) buying routers than lobbying against that?

            All industries lobby, usually through trade associations. Would Congress pass a totally unrealistic taxation bill like you describe or aggressively pursue the industry for heavy regulation, you'd be right that lobbying would (if it worked out) be more beneficial than R&D or some other form of business investment.

            But if you imagine a competitive market with 10 sellers of goods, none of which has more than a 20% market share, it's more sensible to spend money on business investments which make you more c

          • by RavenLrD20k ( 311488 ) on Thursday July 13, 2017 @10:47AM (#54800417) Journal

            Suppose Congress decided that all ISPs should be taxed at a 95% rate...

            Strawman. Of course spending on lobbying on this hypothetical and non-existant case makes sense and will protect an investment made in infrastructure. No one here has stated that money shouldn't be spent on lobbying to protect investments. We are arguing that money spent on lobbying shouldn't be an investment in itself, and in an actual competitive environment, it couldn't be.

            Competition has nothing to do with this issue.

            I disagree. Competition is everything to do with this issue. In addition to the Net Neutrality issue, ISP A has used lobbying to prevent a potential ISP B (municpal broadband) from building out their own infrastructure in A's jurisdiction. They have also used lobbying to ensure that other existing ISPs aren't able to encroach on eachother's territories to increase regional competition. Net Neutrality is in part ensuring that ISPs cannot give preference to traffic generated by their own content applications (i.e. Cox's contour service) over that of other content application/producers (i.e. Hulu, Youtube, Twitch, Netflix, etc). This is exactly an example of the ISPs lobbying against fair competition of content. so, yes, competition is the crux of this whole issue.

            If the INDUSTRY, as a whole, had spent that money on routers instead, exactly how much money could the industry, as a whole, expect in return?

            Given that the INDUSTRY as a whole has made a climate against competition in the ISP marketplace through their lobbying efforts, they can't expect any real return on investment in any of their infrastructure. Take away the regional monopoly structure and introduce REAL competition in the ISP marketplace, returns on router and technology upgrades would be exponential.

            • I don't believe that is a straw man, so much as it is another fallacy. IIRC, it has a formal name of 'reductum ad absurdum.' This means they throw out absurd examples that aren't even plausible. While they may make for fine fiction, or philosophical debates, they are a fallacy because they ignore the actual topic of debate.

              You can see this in some neat forms. It also must be a fallacy, and not just something which could be labeled a fallacy. Sometimes, for example, it really is a slippery slope.

              As for neat

      • The facts say different. Companies would not put all the money into lobbying or cash contributions to lawmakers if it did not have a pay off. My guess is that it has better ROI than R&D money for large companies.

        Lobbying is done by companies, causes, groups, etc of all sorts. "how" it is done is an issue in some cases, but politicians who let themselves be influenced by the money side of lobbying vs the information side of lobbying is the root of the problem. Lobbying itself isn't evil, it actually provides a useful purpose.

    • by Mitreya ( 579078 )

      we really need better regulations of that business because that is money which should have been more difficult for them to spend.

      This always confuses me. There are hard limits of what I could spend on, say, election ($2,700-$5,500 a year according to wikipedia). How is that they can spend $572 million?
      Also, weasel words "FCC and other government agencies" to me means total lobbying, including perhaps parking regulations and zoning laws in their office buildings.

      Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) have spent $572 million on attempts to influence the FCC and other government agencies since 2008.

      • lobbying is paying your own lawyers and other type people to go to the government and spend time selling them on whatever idea it is the company wants. They can pay those people all they want.
    • Lobbying/bribing is a poor investment in a competitive environment.

      Lobbying and associated bribes is how the American political system is built. Baksheesh FTW!

    • So your solution to companies lobbing and bribing to influence regulation is more regulation? The place where regulation is needed is on lawmakers. Ethics regulations for lawmakers are a joke, because they're the ones that wrote it. You will never be able to fix a corrupt system by going after people playing by the corrupt rules, you need to go after people making up the rules.
    • First is that being a mega ISP is certainly a profitable business.

      Second is that we really need better regulations of that business because that is money which should have been more difficult for them to spend. ie, Economically speaking there should have been a place within the business where that money would have had a much higher return on investment. eg Competitive infrastructure upgrades, R&D, etc. Lobbying/bribing is a poor investment in a competitive environment. Therefore, the environment isn't competitive enough.

      Lack of true competition is the key driver for the need for net neutrality rules to begin with. I'd love to see more work on fostering true competition and consumer choice instead of only focusing on treating the symptoms.

    • Too bad we can't limit lobbying based on the amount of competition. If the country had 4 ISPs that covered the entire company, I might be able to change from an ISP that is spending big on anti-consumer lobbying to an ISP that isn't spending anything on lobbying. With most folks having a choice of only two ISPs (if they are lucky), we're stuck.

  • Why not let the market sort it out. These people where bought fair and square. How much have you paid for it? Nothing? Are you a communist or worse, a socialist?

    That said, unless there are SERIOUS changes done on a political level, the only thing that will come of it is that the wording will change.

    "We have altered Net Neutrality. Hope we won't alter it any further."

    I do understand that this is not the fault of your party, but the other ones. Divide and conquer still works, I see.

    • by CodeHog ( 666724 )
      "Why not let the market sort it out." Because the market doesn't encourage cheating and illegal practices? There are reasons why there are rules and regulations in markets where there is little to no competition and is considered an essential service. And yes I believe the Internet is an essential service.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You think there's no competition in the ISP business? Look at the Title II business world for competition. Where have you seen competition for POTS lines? Ever? No, this is veery, very clearly a monopoly lock-in. The objections by the big companies is that they can't expand, not that they can't keep raping you.

      And oh,.by the way, the easy and blatantly legal way to prioritize internal traffic under the Obama "net neutrality" rules is merely to class your service as something different. "DTV rebroadcast" is

      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        There is almost precisely the same amount of competition in the POTS/Voice-Over-Cable business as in the ISP business. (And yes, you really have to count voice-over-cable, as it replaces POTS for a high percentage of customers.) And the reason there is the same amount of competition (very little) is that it takes decades to recover the infrastructure cost, which means any incumbent (which has already paid for most of those costs) can easily undercut any new competitor until they go out of business, buy t

  • So where do these ISPs hope to get a return on the ''investment'' in lobbying ? Answer: charging their customers more to access certain services; or having some services pay to get fast access to their customers. Either way this will not be to the advantage of those who the ISPs provide a connection to the Internet.

    Oh, and they take action against competition [publicintegrity.org].

  • by gravewax ( 4772409 ) on Thursday July 13, 2017 @09:16AM (#54799849)
    I know this is Slashdot but for fucks sake "3 ISPs Have Spent $572 Million To Kill Net Neutrality Since 2008" NO THEY HAVEN'T. They have spent 572 million on lobbying part of which was spent on net neutrality, the amount spent on lobbying is disgusting, but slashdots inability to present basic fakes without twisting them is almost as sickening.
    • I know this is Slashdot but for fucks sake "3 ISPs Have Spent $572 Million To Kill Net Neutrality Since 2008" NO THEY HAVEN'T. They have spent 572 million on lobbying part of which was spent on net neutrality, the amount spent on lobbying is disgusting, but slashdots inability to present basic fakes without twisting them is almost as sickening.

      Exactly. they counted every dollar they could possibly call lobby related and assigned it entirely to fighting net neutrality. News for idiots: Cable spends money lobbying other stuff too. I find in interesting you need to get this far down in the comments before you see some healthy skepticism.

      • The total lobbying bill when you work it out on a average per year for each of the companies isn't even a particularly obscene or unusual amount, they probably would have spent similar even without net neutrality. I really wish news articles would stick to the facts, it isn't like these are squeaky clean companies with shining reputations, the facts alone are pretty damning for much of their behaviour over the years without having to resort to lies.
    • If you run a Fortune 50 or even Fortune 500 company, legislation has the power to cripple your business. Therefore paying lobbyists to help keep the political environment stable for your business is a necessary expense. Three huge companies handling revenue in the billions per year spending an average of $20 million a year on lobbying for an industry that has a lot of regulatory burden they must account for is not that much. Whether Net Neutrality would have significantly affected their net profit or no
      • I partly agree, if I was them I would happily spend that amount too, it isn't even a lot for them to spend. What I find disheartening is that spending that on lobbying works and works very well otherwise they would not do it, which in itself is the problem and is probably more a problem that the Pollies on the receiving end are too easily swayed by it. yes this story is absolute bullshit with the writers twisting facts and combining numbers trying to create public outrage (worse than the lobbying in my eyes
      • by dryeo ( 100693 )

        On the other hand, this is just as true,
        "If you run a Fortune 50 or even Fortune 500 company, legislation has the power to cripple your competitors business. Therefore paying lobbyists to help keep the political environment unstable for your competitors businesses is a necessary expense." ...

    • by msk ( 6205 )

      Regardless of the hyperbole, as has been argued elsewhere in the thread, if they have money to spend on lobbying in order to entrench their strong positions, then there isn't enough competition.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    And those people hire well connected people - people who can speak directly with the politician one on one. Wine and dine them, give a nice gift for their daughter's wedding, and so on.

    As for us peons, well we've gotta slog through the horseshit - make it a part-time job. Ever try talking to your US Congressman or Senator? You get some flunky who'll "relay" your message. Probably some college intern who drank the party's Kool-Aid. And with my Republican Congressional delegation, I'm sure my message wil

  • Couldn't they have just invested the $572M in other companies and projects or a mutual fund and reaped WAY more money that would be achieved by potentially gouging future customers?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      first thing you need to do is move past the usual piece of shit false headline and realise this was not spent on lobbying against net neutrality, this was their total lobbying bills for those 4 companies over a decade. That breaks down to less than 15 million a year on lobbying, given the majority of that had nothing to do with net neutrality and those numbers are actually pretty tiny in the lobbying space for an annual bill for such large companies the entire story is shit. All it is a group trying to make
    • Not if they lost control of the pipes. They are playing the long game. They have gotten into the content delivery game and as such compete against Netflix and Amazon for the same customers. Without NN Netflix can be gouged to be allowed to access the ISP's customers. Netflix has to raise their rates to cover the cost and now they aren't as competitive as the ISP's offering.
  • The original title is:

    For Every 1 Net Neutrality Comment, Internet & Cable Providers Spent $100 on Lobbying Over Decade

    These companies are not trying to kill Net Neutrality, They're altering it. They've positioned themselves now to were all outside traffic will come in at the same rate on the same pipe. While their proprietary services are on their intranet and not subject to same rules.

    For example: Go90 will not be under the same rules as Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube. Verizon will not have to cap Go90 will not charge data rates for this service. But Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube cannot buy priority access. Over time the external streaming service will degrade and customers will start turning to Go90.

    I know its not a popular view but when you make everyone the equal, the services that produce most of the consumed content is punished. So the viewers are also punished.

    • Good point. While I'd rather see some solid net neutrality rules vs nothing, I'll also admit that there are legitimate concerns with over prescribing net neutrality. Only it seems we must talk in terms of all or nothing, like so much else in politics these days, we all lose due to polarization.
    • First they lobbied for the DMCA.
      Then they lobbied for "Net Neutrality"

      This *should* be all anyone needs to know. That was AT&T consultants (and other providers with substantial dsl and/or cellular data) that wrote the first FCC Net Neutrality rules and they are fighting to keep it from changing, meanwhile Comcast, Cablevision, etc were also lobbying for their own version of Net Neutrality but they didnt get theirs.. so here they are lobbying to change the rules.

      Notice how removal of the DMCA isnt e
      • Of course they don't want the Obama-era regulations, that's absurd. We know this because Ajit Pai, at their behest, wants to destroy those regulations. The premise of this article is how AT&T has spent money fighting NN, and yet you apparently think everyone else so dumb that it would bebsufficient to simply drop the same tired talking points in this article as you do every other net neutraloty one. If you're going to take money to do PR, at the very least you could make your own prooaganda seem dif
  • ISPs will forever piss me off. Instead of using the money to improve infrastructure and services to actually become appealing companies, they fucking piss it all into a pot to destroy the very service they're trying to deliver.
  • by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <onyxruby&comcast,net> on Thursday July 13, 2017 @09:37AM (#54799949)

    The only reason to spend half a billion dollars is if you think you can get more than that in return. Think of it as a way to show much they stand to gain at the public expense if network neutrality is defeated.

  • Generally, regulations HELP big corporations. I'm also suspect that Google and other big corps are lobbying hard on this front too. I trust neither AT&T, Google, nor the U. S. government. That is why, in general, not regulating things helps small businesses and the individual consumers.

    I'm also wondering why the rush on this. The pro net neutrality guy at work says that there was once one such example but, according to slashdot, even that would not have fell within the new rules.

    I found this inter

  • It seems to me, that since these bozos are against net neutrality, Google et al should give them a taste of their own medicine. They could feed Comcast and AT&T employees shitty search results, like "12 reasons why net neutrality is a good thing; number 7 will shock you!" Or just a bunch of links to the FSF donation page.
  • 3 ISPs Have Spent $572 Million to Kill Net Neutrality Since 2008

    Well shit, that sounds scary. But "net neutrality" as we know it know wasn't around til 2013. How could they have been spending money lobbying to kill net neutrality since 2008?

    Three of the largest internet service providers and the cable television industry’s primary trade association have spent more than a half-billion dollars lobbying the federal government during the past decade on issues that include net neutrality, according to a MapLight analysis. (emphasis is mine)

    Ah. There it is. Had to go to the tertiary source to find it. This includes the lobbying money spent on everything that the cable companies want to bend a congress-critter's ear about, not just net neutrality. Nice work on bending MapLight's [maplight.org] reasonably less click-bait-y headline.

    If your interested, my google-fu on net neutr

    • LMOL yeah ok Potsy

      "The term was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu in 2003, as an extension of the longstanding concept of a common carrier, which was used to describe the role of telephone systems." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
      • by Pascoea ( 968200 )

        The term was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu

        Which is all detailed out in the last link I provided. When I was referring to "as we know it", was referring to the courts affirming the right of the FCC to govern Broadband and the push for the classification of broadband as a Title II service. And it looks like I was wrong on the year, that was 2014, not 2013

        I am 100% in favor of net neutrality, and smacking down the bullshit that internet providers get away with. I am also 100% against shitty click-bait journalism.

  • Comcast, AT&T, Verizon... and, oh, by the way, the itty bitty National Cable & Telecommunications Association [wikipedia.org].

    NCTA – The Internet & Television Association (formerly the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and commonly known as the NCTA) is the principal trade association for the U.S. broadband and pay television industries, representing more than 90% of the U.S. cable market,[2] more than 200 cable networks, and equipment suppliers and providers of other services to the cable industry.

    So 3 ISPs and 200+ other companies together spent $572 million over 10 years. That's less than $300k per company per year.

    But the truth wouldn't be good for nearly as many clicks, would it?

    • by mi ( 197448 )

      So 3 ISPs and 200+ other companies together spent $572 million over 10 years. That's less than $300k per company per year.

      And we still do not know, how much the fans of the draconian measure have spent to advance it — yesterday's hysterics, probably, cost something like $100mln just for one day...

      But we do not know such details, because researching and reporting such information would be journalism...

      • And we still do not know, how much the fans of the draconian measure have spent to advance it — yesterday's hysterics, probably, cost something like $100mln just for one day...

        Citation needed

        But we do not know such details, because researching and reporting such information would be journalism...

        You first.

        • by mi ( 197448 )

          Citation needed

          Nope. Because I said: "probably" — mine was explicitly a "guestimate", which no reasonable person could possible (mis)construe as an assertion of fact.

          You first.

          I'm decidedly not a journalist. Slashdot editors and TFA's author(s) pretend to be. Why is an article citing an amount spent by one side not cite an spent by the opponents? At best, that's because the authors are simply lazy.

          At worst, that's because the other side spent a comparable (or even much greater) amount and citing both

          • Nope. Because I said: "probably" — mine was explicitly a "guestimate", which no reasonable person could possible (mis)construe as an assertion of fact.

            So to counter research someone has done you've put out your "guess". What was the basis behind your "guestimate" or was it just pulled out of thin air?

            I'm decidedly not a journalist. Slashdot editors and TFA's author(s) pretend to be.

            The Slashdot editors have never pretended or claimed to be journalists. That is a false assertion on your part.

            Why is an article citing an amount spent by one side not cite an spent by the opponents?

            What part of journalism says that an article has to be fair to both sides? An article has to be factual.

            At best, that's because the authors are simply lazy.

            And you know this how? You claim not to be a journalist yet you know exactly what work was done and not done. Doesn't that negate any expertise y

            • by mi ( 197448 )

              So to counter research someone has done you've put out your "guess".

              No. You are incorrect. Wrong.

              Here is the correct statement: to counter the research someone has done, I pointed out a gaping omission in it.

              What part of journalism says that an article has to be fair to both sides?

              Uh, I dunno, maybe this part [journalists.org]?

              Balance and fairness are classic buzzwords of journalism ethics: In objective journalism, stories must be balanced in the sense of attempting to present all sides of a story. Fairness means that a jo

              • Here is the correct statement: to counter the research someone has done, I pointed out a gaping omission in it.

                Again where did your $100M estimate come from? Out of thin air? So in essence you're just making things up.

                Uh, I dunno, maybe this part [journalists.org]?

                BAHAHAHAHAHA. You know none of what you posted says anything of the sort. By your logic when reporting on the Holocaust, journalism must present the Nazis in a favorable light.

                "I keep my eyes open when I go about the world."

                No, you specifically said that you were not a journalist and then proceeded to say how journalists didn't do their jobs according to your standards. In other words you acknowledged lack of expertise while giving out an opinion on

                • by mi ( 197448 )

                  Again where did your $100M estimate come from?

                  An educated guess. Point remains, there is a gaping omission in TFA... So gaping, so obviously contrary to the journalistic rules and traditions, that it can only be deliberate. A lie by omission [rationalwiki.org].

                  By your logic when reporting on the Holocaust, journalism must present the Nazis in a favorable light.

                  You didn't finish reading the page I linked to... But you did trip over Godwin's Law [catb.org].

                  Remember to logout.

                  • An educated guess.

                    An educated guess requires some basis in facts. So you have a background in lobbying? You've kept up to date with how much the opposition spends on lobbyists? No. You present no facts yet want to pretend that your lack of facts is the same as someone else's facts. You're just lying at that point.

                    Point remains, there is a gaping omission in TFA... So gaping, so obviously contrary to the journalistic rules and traditions, that it can only be deliberate. A lie by omission [rationalwiki.org].

                    You made your point that the author didn't present the other side. But you also made up numbers and tried to lie about it. When caught in a lie, you try to shift it to say the other person lied. Please.

                    You didn't finish reading the page I linked to... But you did trip over Godwin's Law [catb.org].

                    At this poin

  • At the same time, should require that all monopolies WRT networking, by state and feds be dropped. No federal, state, or local law shall be allowed to force a network monopoly. IOW, it is time to allow real competition to take hold.
  • .. consider what grotesque plans they must have in store to recoup those costs, shoudl they win the day.

  • Think of all the internets they could've provided with that money...
  • If investors sue that the money used on lobbying against Network Neutrality is poorly spent, then the counter-arguments made by management showing how they can monetize lack of Network Neutrality are exactly the arguments for why we need Network Neutrality regulations.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    These guys are so profitable that they can afford to spend $500 million yet they can not provide broadband access to large swaths of the country. African countries do better than this. China does better than this. Why can't we?

  • The issue is not net neutrality, but that the Obama administration had to have the Internet declared a regulated utility to give the FCC the power to impose net neutrality rules. Prior to the 1984 judicial breakup of the ATT monopoly, our long distance and local phone systems were owned and operated by ATT and its seven regional operating companies and were considered regulated public utilities. New product innovation and non-analog voice use of phone lines and connected devices were restricted and control
  • All of the big ISPs in America also sell pay TV in various forms (AT&T has U-Verse TV and now DirecTV, Verizon has FiOS TV and all the cable companies sell Cable TV). They are seeing their highly profitable pay TV business disappear as people get their content from the Internet (legally or otherwise) and drop their pay TV plan (or drop expensive extra packages from their plan).

    That's why they are spending the big bucks to shut down any competition as well (since the competition like Google or local gove

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