Does this apply to the fight against spam, viruses, malware, phishing, botnets, “rogue” advertisers, algorithmic filtering & blocking (of competing products and services) and the use of deep packet inspection for “network security” or commercial reasons too?
Eight months ago, content owners and Internet service providers (ISPs) agreed to the Copyright Alert System, a “six-strike” plan to reduce copyright infringement by Internet users. Under the system, ISPs will soon send educational alerts, hijack browsers, and perhaps even slow/temporarily block the Internet service of users accused of online infringement (as identified by content owners). At the time it was announced, some speculated that the proposed system might not be legal under the antitrust laws. Were they right?
Recently, I completed a draft research paper where I explored the potential antitrust aspects of “six strikes” even further. There, I concluded that while the system has some promise for reducing online infringement, its private nature, combined with a lack of government oversight, raises significant antitrust concerns. It will require careful monitoring by regulators.