Investors in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) are once again pressing the company’s board of directors to report on the business risks arising from the company’s opposition to open Internet and network neutrality principles. A shareholder proposal which last year won 26.4% of the shareholder vote – representing $30.6 billion of Verizon shares – has been resubmitted for consideration at Verizon’s 2015 annual meeting.
The Federal Communications Commission should move quickly to embrace President Obama’s recommendation to protect network neutrality by reclassifying Internet broadband under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, an investor group said today.
Welcome to Open MIC
|The Open Media and Information Companies Initiative – Open MIC – is a non-profit organization working to promote a vibrant, diverse media ecosystem through market-based solutions.
The guiding insight of Open MIC is that the media values we promote as citizens are the same as those we seek as investors: diversity and competition, creativity and innovation, openness and transparency.
We believe that a dynamic, open and critical media sector is good for both the business of media and the health of democratic society.
Open MIC fosters dialogue among media companies, investors, consumers and creators with the goal of developing successful and responsible media practices for the digital age.
It’s no secret that the world of media is being transformed as digital technologies change how people and nations communicate and entertain, do business and govern. But as old and new media undergo this transformation, there is deep concern as to how the promise of the digital age will be fulfilled. Consolidation within the media industry over the last century has created a monoculture that is dangerously uncritical and uninformative. Many of the same trends can be seen emerging in the realm of digital media as well. And that, simply put, is bad for both business and democracy.
Open MIC aims to generate provocative discussion and debate about the future of media, highlighting the importance of private-sector and capital-market mechanisms in shaping a more positive future. Essential to that process is community-powered, networked dialogue which draws on the experience, insight and opinions of consumers and creators of media.
Current Open MIC initiatives include:
Founded in late 2006, Open MIC is a project of the Tides Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
The Open MIC Blog
A group of investment firms and foundations with widely-diversified investment portfolios today called upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt network neutrality rules that would protect an open Internet. They recommended reclassification of broadband Internet service under Title II of the Communications Act, giving the FCC clear regulatory authority over the Internet network infrastructure that serves millions of individuals, entrepreneurs and established businesses throughout the U.S
Citing intense global concern over the impact of disclosures regarding surveillance programs directed by the U.S. government agencies, investors in AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) have filed shareholder proposals calling on the companies to publish semi-annual reports detailing how often they have shared information with U.S. or foreign governments and what type of customer information has been shared.
The prime sponsor of the AT&T proposal is the $160.7 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, which manages assets on behalf of more than one million State employees and retirees. Trillium Asset Management LLC, a Boston-based investment management firm, is the lead proponent of the Verizon. Other investment firms and organizations – including the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California – co-filed at one or both of the companies.
There is no "safe haven" for investors when it comes to privacy and data security, as clear risks exist for companies of all shapes and sizes. The onus is on investors to question how management is dealing with these issues. If companies aren't adequately addressing privacy and data security risks – and there's abundant evidence that's the case – shareholders need to highlight the gravity of the issue. For the 21st century digital economy to thrive, we all need assurance our personal secrets are, indeed, safe.