GEOFFREY MANNE ON CALIFORNIA’S NET NEUTRALITY LAW IN BLOOMBERG TECHNOLOGY
Geoffrey Manne was quoted in Bloomberg Technology on the effects that California laws have on the rest of the country:
Even supporters of state legislation on net neutrality think this may go too far. California State Senator Scott Wiener introduced a bill this week that would only apply to behavior within the state, saying any other approach would be too vulnerable to legal challenge. “We’re expecting that there will be litigation,” he said. Wiener said that the internet providers who backed Pai’s plan shouldn’t flinch at his bill. “They say that, as a matter of internal policy, they adhere to net neutrality.”
But this wouldn’t be the first time a large state threw around its weight in ways that reverberate beyond its borders. The texbook industry, for instance, has long accommodated the standards of California and Texas. Just last month, more than a dozen states asked the Supreme Court to block a California law that required egg sellers to abide to certain guidelines in their treatment of hens, arguing it attempts to regulate industry in other states.
“California has a long and questionable history of passing laws and regulations that end up applying to the whole country, because companies don’t want to or can’t change their products to sell them just in California,” said Geoffrey Manne, executive director of the International Center for Law & Economics, a research group. If California, Washington and New York all passed similar guidelines, it could carry a significant amount of weight.