Shareholders Want to Vote on Comcast, AT&T’s Net Neutrality Stance

The nation’s largest telecom companies may be trying to gut Net Neutrality, but their investors – many of whom base their success (and ability to invest) on the open Internet – are not applauding the company line.

Today a group of displeased investors – ranging from Mike D of the Beastie Boys to the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica of Atchison, Kansas – filed proposals with AT&T, Verizon and Comcast calling for shareholder votes on Net Neutrality policies that would preserve open access to the Internet on wireless networks.

According to a press release from the non-profit group Open MIC, which organized the shareholder initiative, investors are hoping to bring their proposals to a vote at the companies’ annual meetings this coming spring. That is, unless the companies block the proposals; it appears AT&T has already done this, claiming Net Neutrality is too confusing for shareholders to understand.

Farnum Brown, Chief Investment Strategist for Trillium Asset Management Corporation, an independent investment firm with more than $900 million under management, said safeguarding Net Neutrality is critical for competition, entrepreneurship, innovation and free expression. “That’s why it’s important for shareholders to be heard on this issue,” he said.

As more companies and investors across the country begin to realize that their economic future is hinging on a handful of gatekeepers who want to ensure their own market dominance, we may see shareholders increasingly throwing protesting. It’ll certainly be a game of tug-of-war. But it also just might be the beginning of an implosion on Comcast, AT&T and Verizon’s attempts to control the Internet.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good