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Public Knowledge Questions Google-Verizon Dispute Over ‘Wallet’ Application

December 6, 2011 , ,

The following statement is attributed to
Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge:

 

“It is unfortunate that the Federal
Communications Commission chose to give wireless Internet access a second-class
status to becoming an open network.

“Today’s dispute between Google and
Verizon is just the type of situation that likely would not happen if it were
clear that a firm ‘no discrimination’ standard were in effect for wireless
services.

“Much of the disagreement makes little
sense.  Consumers would not have the
benefit of Google’s Wallet service pre-installed when buying a Galaxy Nexus
phone, presumably because of Verizon’s security concerns.  But consumers could download the application
and use it once it is cleared by Verizon. 
At the same time, Verizon is developing a payment application similar to
what Google has developed.  The
possibilities for anti-competitive, anti-consumer behavior are fairly obvious.

“It’s time for the FCC to realize that, as
Chairman Genachowski once said, the Internet is the Internet regardless of how
consumers reach it.”