Wu Appointment May Mean More Regulation to Come


On February 8, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu would be joining the Commission’s Office of Policy Planning. The law professor known for coining the phrase “net neutrality” reportedly will advise the Commission on long-range competition and consumer protection policy initiatives.

Professor Wu’s appointment is considered by many in the business community as a harbinger of more market-stifling regulation to come. In a recent Forbes article, D.C. business consultant Scott Cleland was quoted as saying, “It’s nothing but trouble for business … He’s about as interventionist and hyper-regulatory a thinker as you will find.”

There is sound basis for the concern that Professor Wu will help the federal agency identify new – and possibly costly and unnecessary – regulatory interventions. He has been a long-standing advocate of government regulation of Internet access, professing fears of “private power as much as public power.” He has been instrumental in aiding the Federal Communications Commission to devise net neutrality rules and policies.

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