Thursday, August 11, 2005

SBC wins controversial pricing deregulation vote

American Marketing Association News: "The courtroom was so crowded that observers piled up in the doorway and spilled out into the hall, all straining to hear the Oklahoma Corporation Commission vote to free SBC Oklahoma from pricing regulation. After the vote was taken, dozens of SBC's supporters wearing large white DSL Yes buttons applauded.
I believe it will result in lower prices and better choices for consumers, said Commissioner Denise Bode.
But Commissioner Bob Anthony criticized the order as being tainted by unprofessional conduct, ex parte communication, and unethical behavior.
In a case subjected to extensive lobbying efforts by supporters and opponents alike, the commission approved, by a 2-1 vote, an order granting SBC the ability to set its own prices for landline telephone service without having to ask the commission's approval in advance. The order removes regulatory filing requirements that have provided advance notice of the SBC's pricing strategies to other phone companies, giving rivals a competitive advantage, say SBC officials. "

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