Web War: Nothing Neutral About It

The battle over who picks up the tab for Internet traffic will rage on in 2007, with telcos pitted against the likes of Google and Microsoft

There's a high-stakes battle raging in Washington over who picks up the tab for the rising rivers of Internet data and the newly upgraded networks that deliver it. On one side are a host of tech companies—from Google (GOOG) to Yahoo! (YHOO) to Intel (INTC) to Microsoft (MSFT)—that specialize in Web-related content and technology, pushing for rules that they say would keep the Internet free from discriminatory pricing. On the other are the phone and cable companies that run the networks shuttling that information from place to place. They oppose regulation of the Internet. Last year, the skirmish ended in stalemate.

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