Ars offers up a fantastic article on why Net Neutrality is needed, providing an immense historical example; the days when the telegraph, controlled by Western Union, was abused.|
The duo then cut a deal with telegraph operator Western Union. In exchange for exclusive access to Western Union, both APs promised never to "encourage or support any opposition or competing Telegraph Company." In turn, newspapers that subscribed to AP pledged to use AP only. And no new newspaper could join the news cartel without the support of current AP members in the region.The behavior of cable companies - Cox, Comcrap, etc - in trying to block out Internet Video to protect their TV channel business is eerily similar...
Thus, "if a newspaper publicly criticized the AP, it risked losing its membership," notes the historian Paul Starr. "Not only, therefore, did AP itself enjoy a monopoly position; its member newspapers could also protect themselves against local competition."