Where do libertarians stand on net neutrality?

The House recently voted to overturn the FCC's net neutrality rules. Here are nine ways to make sense of a complicated issue.

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    Elvis Hajdar at home using a new laptop computer his uncle bought for him in Shuto Orizari, on the outskirts of Skopje, Macedonia, in this 2004 file photo. In the US the Federal Communications Commission outlines rules for net neutrality.
    Richard Mertens / Freelance / File
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As reported on Wired, “The House of Representatives voted Friday to overturn net neutrality rules created by the FCC in December.” Obama said he will veto it.

Net Neutrality is complicated. It’s hard for some libertarians to figure out where to stand on it.

Here’s how I view it:

  1. It’s bad that the state helps cartelize industry.
  2. It’s bad that ISPs etc. probably have more market power than they otherwise would, and that there is less competition than there would be.
  3. But this is the state’s fault.
  4. Given it’s the state’s fault, should the state use its antitrust power/FTC power to block mergers or to break companies apart? I say no. You can’t trust the state that caused the problem in the first place to solve it by exercising unlibertarian and unconstitutional power and law.
  5. Given the current regime of state-intervention-caused limited competition, should the FCC impose Net Neutrality rules? I say no.
  6. Given that the FCC did impose Net Neutrality rules, should Congress override them? I say a tepid yes.
  7. Given that Congress did the right thing, should Obama veto it? No.
  8. Will he anyway? Yes.
  9. Are we doomed? Yes. (Kidding. I hope.)

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