Microsoft Withdraws From Effort To Make AT&T-Bell South Merger Net Neutral

Microsoft, one of the founders of the It’s Our Net coalition, pulled its name from the group’s site after deciding not to weigh-in on AT&T’s pending $82 billion acquisition of Bell South, according to Bloomberg. The other members of the group, which include Google, Amazon. eBay and Yahoo, have asked the FCC to require “meaningful and effective net neutrality safeguards” on the deal.
A Microsoft spokeswoman wouldn’t tell Bloomberg whether the company will restore its name following the FCC’s decision or if the company has quit the group entirely although this statement sounds like it’s done: “”However, we continue to support and will pursue other opportunities to obtain meaningful network neutrality policies.” Jim McGann, a spokesman for the It’s Our Net Coalition, declined to comment on Microsoft’s withdrawal from the site.
Odds are this will have little impact on the actual debate. It probably says more about Microsoft and its IPTV connections with AT&T than any grand issue while the coalition still has 170-plus members including the aforementioned heavyweights. . Meanwhile, the FCC AT&T-BellSouth vote has been rescheduled for Friday.