Lessons On Competition Policy From The Telegraph to Twitter: A Book Talk with Harold Feld, Gigi Sohn and Mignon L. Clyburn
- Harold Feld, Senior Vice President, Public Knowledge
- Gigi Sohn, Distinguished Fellow, Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy; Senior Felow and Public Advocate, Benton Foundation
- Mignon L. Clyburn, Former Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission
Over the last hundred years, we have gone back and forth between "natural monopoly" regulation and regulation designed to break open the markets and create competition. What lessons can we learn from the successes and failures of the last century of competition policy as we shape our digital future? How can we come up with a “regulatory toolkit” that encourages competition and that incorporates a wide range of regulatory options from data portability to antitrust? This roundtable is the next in a series run by the Digital Innovation & Democracy Initiative. The initiative leverages GMF’s extensive networks to develop strategies that advance innovation and strengthen democratic values.
Harold Feld is the Senior Vice President for Public Knowledge, one of the nation’s premier consumer advocacy organizations working at the intersection of copyright, telecommunications and the Internet. Feld is a highly regarded thought leader in the areas of telecommunications and digital consumer protection, and author of The Case for the Digital Platform Act: Market Structure and Regulation of Digital Platforms. He was previously senior vice president at the Media Access Project (MAP), a public interest law firm, where he advanced competition policies in media, telecommunications and technology. Prior to joining MAP, Feld was an associate at Covington & Burling, and clerked for the DC Court of Appeals.
Gigi Sohn is a distinguished fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate. She serves on the Board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the leading nonprofit defending privacy, free speech and innovation. Gigi is one of the nation’s leading public advocates for open, affordable and democratic communications networks. For 30 years, Gigi has worked to defend and preserve the fundamental competition and innovation policies that have made broadband Internet access more ubiquitous, competitive, affordable, open and protective of user privacy. From 2013-2016, Gigi was Counselor to the former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler. From 2001-2013, Gigi served as the CoFounder and CEO of Public Knowledge, a leading telecommunications, media and technology policy advocacy organization. She was previously a project specialist in the Ford Foundation’s Media, Arts and Culture unit and Executive Director of the Media Access Project, a public interest law firm. Gigi holds a BS in Broadcasting and Film, Summa Cum Laude from the Boston University College of Communication and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Mignon Clyburn served as commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2009 to 2018, and acting chair from May to November of 2013. During her nearly nine years at the FCC, Commissioner Clyburn was committed to closing persistent digital and opportunities divides that continue to challenge rural, Native and low wealth communities. Specifically, she pushed for the modernization of the agency’s Lifeline Program, which assists low income consumers in defraying the cost of voice and broadband service, championed diversity in media ownership, initiated Inmate Calling Services reforms, emphasized diversity and inclusion in STEM opportunities, and fought to preserve a free and open internet. Previously, Clyburn served 11 years on the South Carolina Public Service Commission. Prior to that, she was the publisher and general manager of the Coastal Times, a family-founded, Charleston-based weekly newspaper focusing on issues affecting the African American community. Clyburn most recently held a fellowship at the Open Society Foundation where she championed efforts to eliminate predatory rates for prison telephone services and is currently the principal of MLC Strategies, LLC. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds a BS in banking, finance and economics.