The Global Report

Google, Verizon said to strike deal on web traffic rules

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Verizon Communications Inc. and Google Inc. have struck their own accord on handling Internet traffic, as both participate in talks by U.S. officials on Web policy, two people briefed by the companies said.

The compromise as described would restrict Verizon from selectively slowing Internet content that travels over its wires, but wouldn't apply such limits to Internet use on mobile phones, according to the people, who spoke yesterday and asked not to be identified before an announcement.

Verizon and Google have been adversaries over the issue, known as net neutrality. Verizon was among cable and phone companies saying they need leeway over the delivery of Web content to protect performance of their networks. Google led content providers and advocacy groups that say restrictions are needed so communications companies don't favor their own online offerings or those of partners.

The Federal Communications Commission is negotiating behind closed doors with Verizon, Google, AT&T Inc. and other companies on rules proposed by Chairman Julius Genachowski to regulate how phone and cable companies handle Web traffic such as Google's YouTube videos. Regulations or legislation that result would bind Google and Verizon as well.

Sources: Bloomberg

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