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eBay Warns Net Neutrality Reversal Will Hurt Small Businesses

eBay said Internet Service Providers could steer traffic to preferred websites if the federal government reverses its policies around net neutrality. It warned that small businesses would be among those hardest hit by such a change.

eBay issued the following press release:

As you may have heard, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai recently announced his plans to reverse existing net neutrality protections established by his predecessor. The concept of “net neutrality” generally refers to treating all Internet traffic equally. It is designed to prohibit Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking, slowing, or otherwise discriminating against user access to web or app content. Reversing net neutrality protections will have far-reaching ramifications.

eBay supports net neutrality and opposes undermining a robust and open Internet. We are concerned that by reversing these protections, control over access shifts away from the consumer and towards a handful of large ISPs who might be incentivized to cut deals that will steer Internet traffic to preferred websites and apps. Internet-enabled small businesses would be among those hit hardest. Weaker net neutrality protections would discourage competition by tilting the playing field in favor of large enterprises that have the resources to outspend their smaller competitors. Visit our net neutrality issue page to learn more about eBay’s stance on this important subject.

As always, the eBay Government Relations team will continue to monitor this situation and engage with legislators and regulators as appropriate to help ensure that small Internet-enabled businesses and their customers are not harmed by the removal of these important protections.

Source: eBay Main Street press release

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.