Verizon FCC Case Heads to D.C. Court

Seen as “victory” for net neutrality opponents

A judicial panel has chosen the D.C. Court of Appeals as the venue for the latest legal action between Verizon and the Federal Communications Commission. Politico describes the choice as an “early win” for Verizon, as the D. C. circuit is most likely to overturn net neutrality rules. The same court rejected the FCC’s authority in the Comcast P2P case in 2010, GigaOM notes.

Verizon, the biggest phone provider in the US, argues that the FCC lacks authority to regulate Internet providers. It is challenging proposed new FCC rules that would allow the regulator to prevent broadband companies from prioritizing or blocking content on their networks, as reported in the Guardian.

Verizon filed a second suit against the FCC at the end of September. The company’s general council, Michael Glover, said that the FCC was imposing “potentially sweeping and unneeded regulations on broadband networks.”

“We believe this assertion of authority is inconsistent with the statute and will create uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers," he said in a statement.

The D.C. Court was chosen in a random lottery on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reports. But the FCC asserts that the venue will not affect the case. “The FCC stands ready to defend its open Internet order in any court of appeals,” an FCC spokesman said.

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