The five commissioners of the FCC are once again being hauled before Congress to explain themselves. This time it will be to answer questions from the House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 12. The chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, has been called to testify a number of times before Congress, in part because Members of Congress have expressed concern that transparency and integrity of decision making appear to have declined under his leadership, while overreach, partisanship, and politicization have expanded.
Now that the DC Circuit Court of Appeals decided that it is okay to have economics-free regulations for the Internet, leadership from Congress may be the only way we can achieve an economics-grounded and technology-grounded policy for the Internet.
Certain European officials seem to be suffering from a disorder called platform anxiety — the fear that arises because US firms are the leaders in creating business platforms. As is often the case, these officials are self-medicating by imposing regulations on others. While this may be a fulfilling activity for the officials in question, though probably not for the firms being regulated, it does little to address the real problem: Governments are feeling left out of the platform economy.
You know an industry is having an impact when government officials seek to control it, or at least capture its value. This appears to be what the European Commission is doing as it seeks to force Netflix, Amazon, and Apple to carry and promote more European films — and to have these companies pay for the privilege of doing so.