Google, telcos and the push for a vertically integrated non-neutral internet – Friends, not foes
November 2014
Highlights

» Vertical integration of internet access with telcos’ specialized services (e.g. telco TV) and vertical integration of dominant search engines with internet search specialized services (e.g. Google Flights) are both severely restricting consumer choice, foreclose competition and harm the open internet
» List of 92 vertically discriminated zero-rated mobile services in OECD
» Which operator groups have already embraced vertical discrimination by zero-rating their data-hungry internet services such as film stores, TV, cloud storage and music streaming?
» Which internet companies, beside Google, have joined the telcos and embraced vertical discrimination (3rd party zero-rated apps) of mobile internet access in OECD?
» Google’s YouTube is being zero-rated by a European operator group. Does Google support paid-prioritization and discriminatory zero-rating?
» Rewheel earlier proposed to members of the European Parliament a simple, effective and easily enforceable non-structural remedy to protect the non-discriminatory neutral nature of both internet access and internet search:
  • For internet access we proposed unbundling internet access from operator specialized services (erecting a ‘Chinese Spectrum Wall’, prohibiting vertical discrimination)
  • For internet search we proposed unbundling internet search from other services (erecting a ‘Chinese Wall’, prohibiting vertical discrimination)
Note that the day after releasing this research note ETNO, the lobby group of incumbent European telecom groups (such as Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telefonica) has confrimed their strategy to exlpore cooperation options with Google:
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