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George Ford's Smackdown of Tim Wu's Datatopian Wireless Net Neutrality White Paper
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2007-02-15 10:51
The highlight of the FTC Broadband connectivity workshop was Phoenix' George Ford's evisceration of Tim Wu's Wireless net neutralty paper.
- George ably cut through the abject nonsense of Mr. Wu's paper by pointing out:
- The fact that you don't like the result, and can't get whatever product you want at whatever price you want, isn't market failure.
- Kudos to George for clarity of thought and seeing through Mr. Wu's vacuous logic.
- Mr. Wu's paper was essentially a datatopian wishlist of how Mr. Wu thinks business, markets and capitalism "should" work, not as they do in the real world or as FTC competition experts all understand it to be.
- Mr Ford was appropriately very tough on Mr. Wu's total lack of economic intellectual rigor in his paper which I called intellectual rigor mortis is my blog a couple of days ago.
Mr. Ford also eviscerated Mr. Wu's recommendation to apply the monopoly Carterfone decision to the competitive wireless industry.
- Mr. Ford said it was ridiculous to apply a concept to such a non-analogous situation.
- He pointed out how they were completely different factual circumstances:
- AT&T was a vertically regulated vertical monopoly, wireless is competitive and not vertically integrated.
- Consumers had no phone choice with AT&T monopoly, consumers have over 800 choices of cellphones today from competing wireless carriers.
- There was very little innovation vibrancy in phones in the AT&T monopoly while there is vibrant innovation in cellphones of today used by 230 million Americans.
Mr. Wu's biggest mistake was submitting this paper before the FTC an organization well-known for its analytical rigor and expertise in the subject of competition.
- FTC experts, who are well trained to do this type of analysis, will quietly snicker at this sophomoric term paper and see through its lack of policy and analytical substance.
Mr. Wu hurt his own reputation with the weakness of this paper.
As supposedly a leading "thinker" on the subject of net neutrality, Mr Wu also hurt the net neutrality movement by over-reaching and exposing his embarrassing lack of knowledge of competition policy.