August 05, 2010

Google, Verizon Deny Deal -- and Why I Have No Comment (For Now)

Greetings. A lot of people (including various media) have been banging on my inbox and phone wondering why I haven't so far specifically commented on the New York Times Google/Verizon Internet Deal story (and similar articles in other publications), and have been asking me for immediate comments.

First, let's note here that as of this morning, Google has said that the Times story is wrong, and Verizon has published a similar statement denying the reported deal.

In a previous note I acknowledged the usefulness of private discussions in some related situations (so long as full transparency is forthcoming), and my concern that the track record of many "agreements" related to telecom is poor enough to engender understandable skepticism in some quarters.

While I will continue to send through pointers to relevant news items on the current Google/Verizon/FCC "Deal" accusations and denials, I will have no substantive comment on them or the associated implications (one way or another) until we actually have solid facts about what is or isn't going on.

I do understand that it has become something of de rigueur for analysts and commentators to write their essays before all the key facts are available -- and we're already seeing some "End of the Internet" stories blasting around related to this current controversy.

I'm really very uncomfortable with that approach, and in this case we have essentially zero confirmed facts regarding the substance of the talks in progress. If some observers wish to argue that the private talks shouldn't be taking place at all that's one thing -- though as mentioned above, I don't necessarily agree with that view.

I will comment when the facts are in.

But before any declarations of Internet Armageddon associated with this story, I'd recommend that we at least wait until we know what the hell we're talking about.


Posted by Lauren at August 5, 2010 10:16 AM | Permalink
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