WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), former Chairman and current senior member of the telecommunications subcommittee, issued the following statement in reaction to reports that Google and Verizon are close to a deal on payment tiers for the Internet.

The potential deal between two broadband behemoths underscores the need for the FCC to act quickly to protect the free and open Internet.  In the absence of such action, it’s increasingly clear that cozy cooperation between communications colossi will reign on the Internet.  No one should be surprised that such companies will seek to slant the playing field in their favor, a result that will stifle the next generation of Internet innovators and short-circuit the economic benefits needed to power our economy in the 21st century.  It is time for the FCC to step in to protect consumers, innovation, and fair competition.”

Rep. Markey is the author of H.R. 3458, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, introduced in July 2009 to ensure that as the Internet continues to evolve, it remains a level playing field guided by openness, competition, and the right to innovate without permission.

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