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What You Should Know / April 11, 2010

online.wsj.com -- In addition to Comcast, other opponents of net neutrality have included AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) AT&T spent roughly $3.4 million in the fourth quarter in direct lobbying on issues including net neutrality, while hiring outside firms including Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Cassidy & Associates Inc. to zero in on the issue with the FCC and others. Verizon, meanwhile, spent $3.3 million in direct lobbying, while hiring outside firms including Elmendorf Strategies and the Fritts Group to specifically take up net neutrality with members of Congress and others. Verizon and Google have at times sought to present a unified front on net neutrality, however, at least in terms of the amount of government regulation that should be involved. In an opinion piece written for The Wall Street Journal last month, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said: "While our two companies don't agree on every issue, we do agree generally as a matter of policy that the framework of minimal government involvement should continue."

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