Posted by Social Science Research Network
By Federico Marini Balestra & Riccardo Tremolada (Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP)
Abstract: The debate over network neutrality (‘net neutrality’) is moving into the realm of the concrete. New issues are already challenging regulators and antitrust authorities. Among them, one recently gained momentum: “zero-rating”, i.e., a type of positive price discrimination, resulting in operators not charging end-users for accessing data volume linked to specific applications or internet services. According to some National regulators zero-rating is unlawful as de facto it could discriminate independent content but, at least in Europe, we miss guidance at the EU level. In our view, it is at the very least debatable that punishing a company for offering free data access or lower prices is beneficial to consumers.