Under President Trump, Obama ally Google may face policy setbacks, including roll back of so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules

“Alphabet Inc’s Google faces a tougher regulatory landscape as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration looks poised to reverse Obama administration policies that often favored the internet giant in the company’s battles with telecoms and cable heavyweights, analysts say,” David Shepardson, Malathi Nayak and Julia Love report for Reuters. “Google had close ties with outgoing Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration, and its employees donated much more to defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton than to the Republican Trump.”

“In the most concrete sign yet that the tech policy balance may be tipping in favor of telecom firms ahead of Trump’s presidency, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday halted action on contentious regulatory reform measures opposed by companies such as AT&T Inc and CenturyLink Inc.,” Shepardson, Nayak and Love report. “In addition, the commission is now expected to reject FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s high-profile proposal to open up the $20 billion market for rented pay-TV set-top boxes, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. That measure would have dealt a big blow to cable companies and created an opening for firms such as Google and Apple Inc.”

“Obama had thrown his support behind the initiative, a move AT&T decried as an improper intervention on behalf of what it called a ‘Google proposal,'” Shepardson, Nayak and Love report. “The FCC’s moves came a day after Republican lawmakers urged Wheeler, a Democrat, to avoid any contested regulations in the waning days of the Obama administration, saying new rules would be subject to review by the incoming Republican-led Congress and Trump’s administration and ‘could create confusion if reversed.'”

“Among other regulations, Trump’s Nov. 8 election has increased the chances that Obama’s net neutrality rules, adopted by the FCC in early 2015, could be rolled back, analysts said. Most Republicans strongly oppose net neutrality, which requires internet service providers to treat all data equally and bars them from obstructing or slowing down consumer access to web content. The rules were a victory for internet firms like Google and Netflix Inc.,” Shepardson, Nayak and Love report. “During Obama’s presidency, more than 250 people moved between jobs at Google or related firms and the federal government, national political campaigns and Congress, according to a report this year by the Campaign for Accountability watchdog group’s Google Transparency Project. Eric Schmidt, Alphabet’s executive chairman, was seen at Clinton’s Election Night party wearing a staff badge in a widely circulated photo. ‘Certainly the sort of cozy relationship that Google enjoyed with the Obama administration is not going to continue with Trump,’ Jackdaw Research’s Dawson added.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in August 2006:

We don’t presume to know the best way to get there, but we support the concept of “Net Neutrality” especially as it pertains to preventing the idea of ISP’s blocking or otherwise impeding sites that don’t pay the ISP to ensure equal access. That said, we usually prefer the government to be hands-off wherever possible, Laissez-faire, except in cases where the free market obviously cannot adequately self-regulate (antitrust, for example). Regulations are static and the marketplace is fluid, so such regulation can often have unintended, unforeseen results down the road. We sincerely hope that there are enough forces in place and/or that the balances adjust in such a manner as to keep the ‘Net as neutral as it is today.

And as we followed up in September 2009:

That we have the same Take over three years later should be telling. Government regulations are not a panacea, neither are the lack thereof. It’s all about striking a proper balance where innovation can thrive while abuses are prevented.

Make that “the same Take over a decade later.”

Google’s Eric Schmidt wore staff badge at Hillary Clinton’s ‘victory’ party – November 16, 2016
WikiLeaks emails show extremely close relationship between Clinton campaign and Google’s Eric Schmidt – November 1, 2016
Eric Schmidt-backed startup stealthily working to put Hillary Clinton in the White House – October 9, 2015
Edward Snowden’s privacy tips: ‘Get rid of Dropbox,” avoid Facebook and Google – October 13, 2014
Eric Schmidt says Google ‘far more secure’ than Apple, denies harvesting data – October 3, 2014
Google’s Eric Schmidt spurns Obama cabinet post offer – December 11, 2012
Obama to reward Google’s Schmidt with Cabinet post? – December 5, 2012
Google outfoxes U.S. FCC – April 17, 2012
Google Street View cars grabbed locations of cellphones, computers – July 26, 2011
Glenn Beck: Be wary of Google, they way they think is creepy (with video) – February 17, 2011
Consumer Watchdog calls for probe of Google’s inappropriate relationship with Obama administration – January 25, 2011
FCC cites Android ‘openness’ as reason for neutered ‘Net Neutrality’ – December 22, 2010
U.S. FCC approves so-called ‘net-neutrality’ regulations – December 21, 2010
Google CEO Schmidt: If you don’t like being in Google Street View then ‘just move’ – October 28, 2010
Consumer Watchdog ads mock Google CEO Eric Schmidt (with video) – September 2, 2010
Google CEO Schmidt: Change your name to escape ‘cyber past’ – August 18, 2010
Wired: Google, CIA Invest in ‘future’ of Web monitoring – July 29, 2010
37 states join probe into Google’s questionable Wi-Fi data collection – July 22, 2010
Google Street View Wi-Fi data included passwords and email – June 18, 2010

Jeb Bush on FCC and so-called ‘net neutrality’ regulation: ‘One of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard’ – March 8, 2015
Who loves the FCC’s overreach on so-called ‘net neutrality?’ Telecom lawyers – March 5, 2015
Legal battles loom over FCC’s so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – February 26, 2015
U.S. FCC OKs so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules on party-line vote – February 26, 2015
U.S. FCC’s rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ expected to unleash slew of court challenges – February 26, 2015
EFF: ‘We are deeply concerned; FCC’s new rules include provision that sounds like a recipe for overreach’ – February 25, 2015
The U.S. FCC’s Orwellian Internet policy – February 25, 2015
Democratic FCC commissioner balks at so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – February 24, 2015
FCC chief pressed to release proposed regulations governing so-called ‘net neutrality’ – February 23, 2015
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai: Obama’s plan a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet – February 10, 2015
Congress launches investigation as Republicans claim Obama had ‘improper influence’ over so-called ‘net neutrality’ – February 7, 2015
FCC chairman proposes to regulate ISP’s under Title II – February 4, 2015
U.S. congressional Republicans’ bill aims to head off Obama’s so-called ‘net neutrality’ plan – January 17, 2015
U.S. Congressional proposal offers Internet rules of the road – January 15, 2015
U.S. FCC says it will vote on so-called ‘net neutrality’ in February – January 3, 2015
FCC hopes its rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ survive inevitable litigation – November 22, 2014
Obama-appointed FCC chairman distances himself from Obama on so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 12, 2014
What does so-called ‘net neutrality’ mean for Apple? – November 12, 2014
AT&T to pause fiber investment until net neutrality rules are decided – November 12, 2014
There’s no one to root for in the debate over so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 11, 2014
U.S. FCC plays Russian Roulette with so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 11, 2014
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner: Republicans will continue efforts to stop misguided scheme to regulate the Internet – November 10, 2014
Tech Freedom: Obama cynically exploits confusion over Title II, misses opportunity to lead on legislative deal – November 10, 2014
Obama want FCC to regulate the Internet; Cruz calls it ‘Obamacare for the Internet’ – November 10, 2014

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Wabash Sphinx” for the heads up.]


  1. Google, Soros, and Wall Street own Obama (and would have owned Hillary had she not been the worst U.S. presidential candidate since Mondale). Obama owned the FCC’s Wheeler, so the FCC did whatever Google wanted.

    Nobody owns President Trump.

      1. Who used government position to get rich? Why it was Hillary “Pay for Play” Clinton. Which party has more millionaires? Why it is the Democratic Party. Who ran a presidential campaign for much, much less money with better results? Why businessman Donald Trump, versus Hillary ‘Spends Other People’s Money With Abandon Results Be Damned” Clinton.

        1. You guys are all going to get royally screwed!
          You believe the nonsense propaganda and have started believing a sleazy sales man.
          Why did your TRUMP charge millions off is own campaign to host events in his own property?
          Why did TRUMP use foundation money to buy a million dollar portrait of himself for himself?
          TRUMP university fraud.
          I don’t understand the hate! Its not like TRUMP or Paul Ryan are better people.
          After all your mother, wife, sister are all women and hopefully worthy of your respect.

          And the Google hate: The company provides so many good quality free services. We all use them at-least we should have some gratitude.

          Last but not least:

          Hitler’s campaign was “Make Germany great again”.
          He had 32% vote. (from people who wrongly believed Germany could have won WW1)
          The opposition gave him a special post (Chancellor) to prevent the country from division.
          After a fire incidence in their parliament he as chancellor declared emergency.
          He hated PRESS – told everyone media is evil. (Russia, North Korea, China all hate Press and fully control them.)
          Soon your country will join the list. Because you blame the wrong people for your frustrations.
          As I said you are all going to get royally SCREWED.

          Someways you all deserve what you get for the havoc created in the middle east.
          After all God’s been watching this game for a long time.

  2. Bloomberg News:
    The company confirmed Friday that it had been “likely” to move the work to Mexico in 2019 when its current contract with the United Auto Workers union expires. “We had planned to move the Lincoln MKC out of Louisville Assembly Plant,” probably to the Cuautitlan factory in Mexico, Christin Baker, a Ford spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

    #MAGA! #PresidentTrump

  3. Google getting screwed under a Trump administration–Trump is looking better and better. All Trump needs to do now is appoint Eric Schmidt at Ambassador to Turkmenistan or some other garden spot so we don’t have to see is ugly face anymore.

  4. These Republican cockroaches don’t even get into office until January, yet there they are, prematurely jumping the gun, “urging” the FCC Chairman (and, no doubt, many others) to stop work on current regulations entirely — in case they contest/don’t like those regulations sometime during the upcoming four year Trump administration.

    Wheeler’s almost certainly on their list for dismissal regardless — so he may as well ram through as much regulation as humanly possible — before the zealots arrive for their first day at ‘big’ school and start crying because they didn’t get everything they wanted, the annoying little pricks.

    1. No sense ramming anything through that we’re going to obliterate in 62 days.

      A reminder: Under Obama, the Democrats have lost over 900 state legislature seats, 12 governors, 69 House seats, and 13 Senate seats. The Obama legacy is total failure. The Democrat Party is merely a regional party by all rational definition.

      The Republican Party controls the governor’s office and both chambers of the state legislature, a governing trifecta in 24 U.S. states vs. the Democrats with only 6 (Wash., Ore., Calif., Hawaii, Del., and R.I.)

      At the federal level, the Republican Party owns the governing superfecta:
      1. Presidency
      2. Senate
      3. House
      4. Supreme Court

      Enjoy the Trump administration and the coming decades of a conservatively-stacked Supreme Court, cockroach boy. I certainly will.

      1. I don’t disagree with you but doesn’t it scare you that any one party (Democrat or Republican) controls all 3 branches of government? Where are the checks and balances?

        I worry when that much power is concentrated in one party.

  5. My point is: ‘Net Neutrality is a mess — fought over by giant telecommunications corporations or huge ISP’s. Both are equally greed-led.

    They don’t give a rats ass about consumers choice — all they want is those internet dollars swelling their already enormous bank accounts, nothing else.

    The federal government must stick to current regulation until the picture becomes more clear.

    Simple as that (for now).

  6. The Obama “Net Neutrality” rules were not really that. Net Neutrality can be expressed in a paragraph. No
    More than one page. What we got was massive dump of pre-Cambrian telco legislation no more suited to the Internet age than dial tones, operators switch boards, and busy signals. It was an attempted power grab over the heretofore unregulated free Internet. The Internet stands as a spectacular example of spontaneous order. I.e. What happens when the government is not involved.

    Under Trump the Obama power grab will likely be rolled back, but there will still be no Net Neutrality. In spite of how smart John Oliver and staff think they are, Net Neutrality is a dead horse. If Obama had stuck to the simple rules, and not gone for the ‘Government controls the Internet’ play, I’m pretty sure they would have held. Unfortunately what he did is so egregious that it would have been flagged for dismantling by any Republican President.

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