Broadband and Web service companies are beefing up their lobbying forces in Washington as the multibillion-dollar battle over Internet regulations gathers momentum.
Big tech firms did not wait for last week’s D.C. Circuit Court decision, which upended the Obama administration’s strategy on “net neutrality” by ruling that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had no right to regulate the Internet.
Google hired Liberty Partners Group to handle online competition and other tech issues; AT&T hired Prime Policy Group to lobby on broadband and net neutrality; Verizon Communications hired Trammell and Co. to work on wireless and broadband issues.
Comcast has also expanded its lobbying efforts with new hires, but these have recently been related to its proposed purchase of NBC Universal. In the past three months, it hired Putala Strategies and Thorsen Group to lobby for the merger. General Electric, NBC Universal’s parent company, hired the C2 Group last month.