Lustigman Quoted in Luxury Daily and Mobile Marketer on the Fate of Net Neutrality

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Andrew Lustigman, head of Olshan’s Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Practice Group, was quoted in Luxury Daily and Mobile Marketer on what the future of net neutrality—which protects online data from potential discrimination by Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) or by the government—could hold for digital marketers and consumers alike, especially in light of the recent appointment of Ajit Pai, an opponent of net neutrality, as the new FCC Chairman. “At its core, net neutrality is meant to provide a level playing field for all content providers on the web,” Mr. Lustigman explained. “If net neutrality is curtailed, marketers will be increasingly subject to ISP’s in terms of restricting bandwidth for their sites. As a result, the power to have full access to Internet traffic will be eliminated in favor of an ISP’s discretion. For example, a marketer may not be able to obtain the level of traffic it has generated because of a bandwidth restriction that slows site load time if the ISP is not in favor of that marketer, or if the marketer has not paid for additional access.” Some fear that restrictions on net neutrality will too heavily empower ISP’s: “It is likely that the ISP’s will charge greater fees for certain access,” Mr. Lustigman elucidated. “The companies that will be able to more readily afford such fees will be larger companies. This is unfortunate because the Internet has allowed innovation to flourish outside of just very large companies.” Mr. Lustigman has faith, however, that the FTC will protect consumers, who stand to lose certain content that net neutrality would otherwise safeguard: “The FTC will remain a very powerful and thoughtful consumer protection agency focused on protecting consumers from harm. What constitutes consumer harm may change, however, under the current administration”

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