In a New York Times op-ed, antitrust lawyer Jonathan Kanter lauds the basic premise of the FCC's controversial "Unlock the Box" NPRM on pay-TV set-tops. But he warns that in developing the proposal, the agency has hooked its wagon to Google, a giant company that could potentially wreak far more havoc than just charging customers too much for cable boxes.
"Done right, this could unleash innovation and usher in a new era in which televisions become a direct extension of our online world," Kanter said. "Unfortunately, the FCC's proposal threatens to replace one set of powerful gatekeepers with a new one: Google."
"For years, Google has been jockeying to control the nation's TVs," he added. "If, thanks to the FCC, Google succeeds, it will get access to the real prize: the data that flows through these boxes. The company wants that information to help it sell advertising. (Disclosure: I represent companies opposed to Google on other issues in the United States and Europe.)"
You can read Kanter's full op-ed here.