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Rally organizers carry away props following a protest outside the Federal Communication Commission building against the end of net neutrality rules in December 2018. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In a complex ruling, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals largely upheld the Federal Communications Commission's move to end net neutrality protections, but allowed states to set their own rules and sent portions of the original order back to the commission for clarification and review.

Why it matters: For a decade, net neutrality rules, which aim to prevent owners of internet networks from favoring some content and traffic, have been a lightning rod for conflict over internet governance. The new ruling means the FCC's 2017 removal of national net neutrality rules put in place by the Obama administration will stand, but opens the door to individual states mandating their own net neutrality protections.

What they're saying: FCC leadership and opponents of the original FCC order both claimed victory from the court's decision.

"Today’s decision is a victory for consumers, broadband deployment, and the free and open internet. The court affirmed the FCC’s decision to repeal 1930s utility-style regulation of the internet imposed by the prior administration. The court also upheld our robust transparency rule so that consumers can be fully informed about their online options."
— FCC chairman Ajit Pai
"The DC Circuit Court has spoken very clearly. The states are now free to do what the FCC will not — assert authority over the broadband market and protect an open Internet. Broadband providers will inevitably complain about having to comply with a so-called 'patchwork' of different state laws, but that is of their own making."
— Gigi Sohn, distinguished fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and former FCC senior counselor

What's next: The decision by a 3-judge panel could be appealed to the full Appeals Court or the U.S. Supreme Court.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers — New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

The Robinhood M&A rumor mill churns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Robinhood's valuation is now just over $11 billion, a fraction of where it traded in August and below that of its last private round of funding. Cue the M&A mongers.

Why it matters: It's not just Robinhood—falling values of growth-oriented tech stocks have raised speculation that formerly high-flying fintechs could be snapped up by more well-capitalized buyers.

4 hours ago - Health

Student's death renews calls for schools to stock opioid overdose drug

Photo: Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A Connecticut student's death has renewed calls for schools to stock and administer naloxone, a drug that can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Why it matters: U.S. drug overdose fatalities reached six figures in a 12-month period for the first time in November, and synthetic or natural opioids were the cause of a majority of the overdoses.