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

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.”

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