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House Judiciary Committee approves Internet neutrality

Neutrality legislation won approval last week in a vote by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. The measure would prevent high-speed Internet network providers from discriminating against unaffiliated services, content and applications.

Content providers including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are concerned they will be forced to pay Internet service providers extra fees to ensure consumers can access their high bandwidth multimedia content, Reuters reported.

The legislation, approved by a vote of 20-13, would amend U.S. antitrust law. Opposed to the measure are network providers such as AT&T and Verizon Communications who are building new high-bandwidth designed to deliver video programming to customers. They are fighting any limits on what they can charge for services.

The Judiciary panel has been tangling with the House Energy and Commerce Committee over jurisdiction on the Internet issue, called “Net neutrality.” Many lawmakers were on the fence but voted for the Judiciary bill to preserve their control over antitrust laws, Reuters reported.

It was unclear at this point how the House leadership would resolve the differences between the committees.