Biden executive order calls for restoration of net neutrality

Biden executive order calls for restoration of net neutrality

US President Joe Biden has signed an executive order which, among other things, calls for net neutrality to be restored.

Issued on Friday, July 9th, the order is nominally about "promoting competition in the American economy" and asked for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt "through appropriate rulemaking 'Net Neutrality' rules similar to those previously adopted." In other words, Biden is calling upon this department of government to restore net neutrality, something that was introduced in 2015 during Obama's second term that stops internet service providers from treating any traffic as special.

In November 2017, under then-FCC chairman Ajit Pai, the organisation moved to dismantle net neutrality rules, before winning a vote to remove the protocol the following month.

In April 2018, video games trade body the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) was among those fighting to reverse this decision.

Net neutrality is just one topic in this executive order; Biden has also called for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to look into anti-competitive methods tech companies are using to stop customers being able to repair their broken goods.

The President is also asking for greater scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions within the tech space, following a period of serious consolidation in this sector – including within games.

"It is also the policy of my Administration to enforce the antitrust laws to meet the challenges posed by new industries and technologies," Biden wrote, "including the rise of the dominant internet platforms especially as they stem from serial mergers, the acquisition of nascent competitors, the aggregation of data, unfair competition in attention markets, the surveillance of users, and the presence of network effects."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.