An Open Letter to Bill Gates/Steve Ballmer on Why Net Neutrality is Not in Microsoft's Interests

Share Article chairman Scott Cleland's open letter to Microsoft on net neutrality warns that "Microsoft's pro-regulation strategy in Washington is backfiring and is likely to end very badly for Microsoft."

In an open letter to Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Scott Cleland, Chairman of, warns that Microsoft's pro-regulation strategy in Washington is backfiring and is likely to end very badly for Microsoft. Cleland writes, "Microsoft's recent decision to withdraw from the ItsOurNet Coalition during FCC consideration of the pending AT&T-BellSouth merger offers a golden opportunity for Microsoft to objectively reevaluate whether pursuit of permanent techcom regulation remains in Microsoft's best interests - especially given the experience and changes of the last year."

Cleland argues, "Upon closer examination, it is evident that Microsoft's original political judgment behind the risk-reward tradeoff of net neutrality was badly flawed. Microsoft has much more to lose than gain from net neutrality and the company has overestimated the rewards and underestimated the risks of net neutrality." Cleland asks, "What is Microsoft willing to give up in order to get net neutrality? Pro-regulation efforts have made the company worse off than when it started pursuing net neutrality regulation."

Cleland concludes, "In short, no company has more to lose from a preemptive and activist regulatory approach like net neutrality than Microsoft. The DOJ and the courts have ruled Microsoft a monopoly. Microsoft still has more market power in more markets, which affords Microsoft more potential to discriminate on the Internet than any other company. It has been said that those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. If Microsoft's senior executives don't appreciate how their Washington problems could get much worse with permanent economic regulation and government micromanagement, Microsoft is destined to that fate."

To read the full letter, visit

To read more about net neutrality, visit

About Scott Cleland

Scott Cleland is one of nation's foremost techcom analysts and experts at the nexus of capital markets, public policy and techcom industry change. He is widely respected in industry, government, media and capital markets as a forward thinker, free market proponent, and leading authority on the future of communications. For more information, visit:

About is an e-forum created to promote a rigorous debate on the merits of net neutrality legislation and regulation. is funded by a wide range of broadband telecom, cable, and wireless companies who believe the best way to guard a free and independent Internet is free and open competition, not more government control of the Internet. To learn more about and network neutrality, visit:


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Allen Abney
Visit website