Just yesterday, a U.S. appeals court knocked down a months-old case against the FCC brought by a number of ISPs and other entities in the telecoms business, including AT&T. The group wanted to push back against the FCC's reclassification of ISPs as utility providers, which allowed them to be governed by the FCC and made them subject to the laws that form the backbone of Net Neutrality. While the upholding of Net Neutrality was a boon for consumers, telecoms and other related companies may have to rethink some decisions in the face of yesterday's outcome, which was at least somewhat unexpected by some parties. Research firm MoffettNathanson's Craig Moffett, sent out a communication to investors explaining some of the expected results of the ruling, with particular focus on how it will affect companies' dealings with the upcoming sale of Yahoo.
According to the Moffett, while it was expected that the court would uphold FCC's reclassification of landline telecoms, it was a bit unexpected to see the ruling stick on the wireless side and it could cause a few changes in the business. For starters, wireless ISPs will have a bit of a harder time with advertising than their non-ISP counterparts like Google. On YouTube, for example, ads may play immediately in high quality while the video you wanted has to buffer. This is just one example of companies skirting Net Neutrality, which puts ISPs looking to do similar marketing at a disadvantage.
Speaking specifically on the matter of the Yahoo buyout, two major players in the bidding are Verizon and AT&T, both of whom want Yahoo at least partly to leverage their ad-serving tech and advertising deals. Moffett speculates that they expected the FCC's ruling that wireless carriers must abide by Net Neutrality rules to be overturned, which means that they may have been bidding with the expectation of being able to serve up fast, zero-rated advertisements. The sudden change of plans could make the two giants think twice about their bids or even pull out entirely, though Yahoo's web services and media may still make the deal worth it for the two carriers.