Policy & Law
It looks like AT&T didn't have anything to worry about when Beastie Boys member Mike D and other stockholders proposed that the company commit to operating its wireless division under the principles of net neutrality. At a recent stockholder annual meeting, the proposal was defeated overwhelmingly: 94.1 percent of those voting came out against the measure, which asked that "AT&T commit to operating its wireless network without the ability to privilege, degrade or prioritize any traffic."
AT&T's vote came only after the SEC forced it and other companies to allow net neutrality-related proposals, overruling AT&T's claim that they would interfere with "ordinary business operations." This margin is certainly high, but we would have been surprised by a favorable outcome for the proposal. Besides personal conviction, there's not a really compelling reason for stockholders to make a business tactic off-limits, and with the FCC unlikely to make rules for wireless networks in the same way it has wired ones, there's little incentive to self-regulate. Verizon will examine a similar measure in May, so we'll see whether its stockholders agree with those of its competitor.
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