Skip to main content area Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to search Skip to section navigation

Current & Recent Research at Penn Law

File: [View Document]
Author: Yoo, Christopher S.
Citation: Technological Determinism and Its Discontents, 127 HARV. L. REV. 914 (2014).
Date Published: 2014
Date Posted: 12/17/2013
Subjects: Law and Business
Law and Economics
Law and Regulatory Systems
Law, Technology and Communications
Keywords: Mass Media Law
Communications Law
Computer Law
Electronic Commerce
Law and Technology
Trade Regulation
This book review takes a critical review of the claim advanced by Susan Crawford in Captive Audience that the merger between Comcast and NBC Universal would harm consumers and that policymakers should instead promote common carriage regulation and subsidize municipal symmetrical gigabit fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). First it evaluates the extent to which next-generation digital subscriber lines (DSL) and wireless broadband technologies can serve as effective substitutes for cable modem service, identifying FCC data showing that the market has become increasingly competitive and likely to continue to do so. Furthermore, the market is not structured in a way that would permit the combination between content and conduit to harm competition. Furthermore, past attempts to recalibrate the balance between content producers and distribution channels have had the unintended consequence of reducing incentives to invest in network infrastructure. It can also deter technical leadership and innovation within the communications platform itself.