The Internet Association, a trade group that represents global internet companies on matters of public policy, filed a motion to intervene in the consolidated lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission's ruling on net neutrality.
In December 2017, the FCC voted 3-2 to eliminate net neutrality, overturning the Open Internet Order of 2015. The order became official in February. Between the vote and the official order, a lawsuit was filed by 21 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia, seeking to block the net neutrality repeal.
Earlier this month, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation randomly selected the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to hear the consolidated challenges.
In the March 22 motion, the Internet Association argued that without the net neutrality rules, "internet companies and consumers will have no effective legal recourse against broadband providers that distort competition and impede communication by preventing or discouraging consumers from reaching the online content of their choice. This is particularly problematic given that nearly half of Americans have no choice of wireline provider for high-speed broadband service."
The lobbying group, whose members include Facebook Inc., Google Inc. and Twitter Inc., told the court that "by eliminating the established, judicially approved rules of the road protecting the open internet, the order removes the legal certainty on which the Internet Association's members have relied."
The group also said that to attract investment and growth, online content providers "need assurance of a baseline level of nondiscriminatory treatment by all internet service providers."