Statement on FCC "Lock Up" Investigation


Engine welcomes the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) announcement today that it plans to review the business practices of a number of dominant broadband companies that “lock up” demand in the high-capacity broadband market.

Startups depend on a healthy and competitive broadband ecosystem. Improved access and competition mean more customers, lower operating costs, and an enhanced ecosystem for innovation. Currently, the market for high-capacity broadband services is dominated by a few monopoly-like carriers who use their power to engage in anticompetitive “lock up” agreements that distort the market, jack up prices for all users, and restrain buildout by competitors. These anticompetitive practices represent a hidden tax on all startups—money that would be better spent hiring new employees, improving products, and driving growth.

The FCC’s decision to investigate these practices represents an important step towards a more competitive broadband market that encourages economic growth, innovation, and improved access for all.