IPTV Saga: Verizon Sticks With Good Ol' Lobbying, Adds Cash Incentive
from the money-talks dept
SBC may have stopped negotiating with lawmakers on IPTV requirements, but Verizon is still working the legislative angle. The issue surrounds current (and probably outdated) laws that would force the telcos to obtain franchisee licenses with every municipality it wants to offer video services. The telcos have been trying hard to change those laws, without much luck. So last week, SBC gave up on negotiating and brashly said it was going to offer IPTV anyway. Their attitude: if someone wants to sue us, go ahead. Meanwhile, Verizon has come up with a new plan for gaining statewide (rather than local level) approval for their video service. Om Malik notes a WSJ story that says Verizon is offering New Jersey a deal in which it will kick back to the state 3% of TV revenues, up from 2%. Verizon and SBC have tried the statewide approach already in Texas, where the telcos’ proposal went down in flames. But this time around with NJ, it appears that Verizon is sweetening the pot a bit. Hmm. Give us approval and we’ll pay you more? That certainly sounds like a bribe. Or maybe it’s just business as usual.
Comments on “IPTV Saga: Verizon Sticks With Good Ol' Lobbying, Adds Cash Incentive”
It?s not a bribe in this case. The state is entering into a financial arrangement with a company just like any other entity. The amount of return you get from that arrangement can effect how quickly you accept things.
States are sometimes commercial entities just like companies. They sell products like lower taxes, subsidies, etc. States market directly to companies to enter into financial arrangements of this sort with them. Look at Deleware and Nevada. Two states that set themselves apart as business friendly states.
Hmm. “We’ll pay you a lot more if you let us skirt existing laws?” That certainly seems to push the line of being “business friendly.”
I disagree. It is a bribe flat out. Perhaps it can be considered extortion. While the corporations make huge profits bringing their product to market and the politicians make an easy buck in “kick backs” it will be the consumer who looses.
Verizon will not sacrifice 2 or 3 per cent of their profit margin to political big wigs, rather they will increase the cost of their product by 2 or 3 per cent because economics 101 teaches us that the cost falls on those least able to escape it. That would be the consumer.
Political kick backs are bad business, bad government and bad for consumers.