Sens. Franken, Wyden to SEC: You’re Wrong to Tell Telecom Shareholders that Net Neutrality Not a “Significant Policy Issue”

Last night, U.S. Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) reached out to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Mary L. Shapiro to object to a recent SEC staff ruling that AT&T (T), Comcast Corporation (CMCSA), and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) could exclude a shareholder proposal from its annual proxy materials. Staff at the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance based their decision on a finding that net neutrality is not a significant policy issue.  The senators disagreed with the SEC’s conclusion and urged the SEC Commissioners to overturn their staff’s decision so that shareholders will be allowed to vote on this issue.

“No other telecommunications issue has generated the same amount of public debate, legislative and regulatory action, and media attention as net neutrality, especially if you look at the last six months,” the senators wrote in the letter. “Whether the government will preserve and protect today’s free and open Internet is the telecommunications and free speech issue of our time.”

To read the full text of the letter, click here.

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