WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Internet Association, a trade group representing companies such as Google parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Facebook Inc (FB.O), said on Friday it intends to join an expected lawsuit against a decision to roll back net neutrality rules.
Several states including New York, and public interest advocacy groups have said they intend to sue to stop the mid-December ruling by the Federal Communications Commission.
The approval of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal in a 3-2 vote marked a victory for internet service providers such as AT&T Inc (T.N), Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), handing them power over what content consumers can access.
Democrats, Hollywood and companies such as Google parent Alphabet and Facebook had urged Pai, a Republican appointed by U.S. President Donald Trump, to keep the Obama-era rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content.
“The final version of Chairman Pai’s rule, as expected, dismantles popular net neutrality protections for consumers. This rule defies the will of a bipartisan majority of Americans and fails to preserve a free and open internet,” the Internet Association said in a statement.
The new rules give internet service providers sweeping powers to change how consumers access the internet but must have new transparency requirements that will require them to disclose any changes to consumers.
Internet Association members also include Airbnb, Etsy Inc, Amazon.com and several dozen online and social media companies.
Reporting by Chris Sanders; Editing by Susan Thomas