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Amazon, eBay, Google, IAC, Microsoft, Yahoo! Letter to Chairmen Barton and Upton Wed Mar 29, 2006 at 12:00:00

March 29, 2006

The Honorable Joe Barton
Chairman
Committee on Energy & Commerce
2123 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Fred Upton
Chairman
Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet
2123 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairmen Barton and Upton:

We are extremely concerned that legislation before your Committee would fail to protect the Internet from discrimination and would deny consumers unfettered access to the tremendous scope of content, applications and services that are available today on the Internet and will be developed in the future. This bill would allow for such a fundamental change in the paradigm of the Internet that it would frustrate the reasonable expectations of the tens of millions of Americans who go online. The “network neutrality” provisions in H.R. ____, “The Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006,” fall well short of what is needed to ensure that consumers and content providers can rely on the Internet as an engine of growth and innovation.

The Internet has driven the American economy and productivity for the past ten years because it enables innovation without permission. A good idea, technology savvy, and an eye for what consumers want has allowed entrepreneurial innovators to reach a global market on the Internet. Consumers embraced the Internet because innovation was rapid and anyone could provide lawful content without interference or permission from those companies that control the networks. This policy has been a hallmark feature of the Internet and is a principal reason why our companies and the U.S. Internet industry are global leaders today.

That policy is at risk, and that is why we have urged Congress to adopt network neutrality requirements that are meaningful and enforceable. The provisions in the Committee bill achieve neither goal.

We affirm our commitment to working with you and your colleagues to craft legislation that preserves the Internet for the tens of millions of Americans that rely on it as a vibrant source of content and services that they use every single day.

Sincerely,

Amazon.com
eBay
Google
IAC/InterActive Corp.
Microsoft
Yahoo!

cc: Rep. John D. Dingell
Rep. Edward J. Markey
Members of the Committee on Energy & Commerce