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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

AT&T thinks it should play by the same neutrality rules as Google and Facebook — and it's telling readers of the New York Times, Washington Post and other national outlets this morning in an ad signed by CEO Randall Stephenson.

Why it matters: AT&T — like FCC Chairman Ajit Pai — is tapping into anti-tech sentiments to build the case that the net neutrality debate shouldn't just be about internet providers, but major web platforms as well.

The ad will run in Times, Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and USA Today. It's also appearing online.

What they're saying: "Congressional action is needed to establish an 'Internet Bill of Rights' that applies to all internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination and privacy protection for all internet users," says the ad, which takes the form of an open letter signed by CEO Randall Stephenson that doesn't mention any web companies by name. He also says that "the commitment of one company is not enough."

What they're not saying: How exactly this would work. The web companies aren't regulated by the FCC, which last month repealed net neutrality rules for broadband providers like AT&T. And there's are significant differences between the pipes that carry content on the internet and the websites that host it.

Real talk: Net neutrality legislation is at a standstill on Capitol Hill right now.

Go deeper

Pakistan PM will "absolutely not" allow CIA to use bases for Afghanistan operations

Pakistan will "absolutely not" allow the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to use bases on its soil for cross-border counterterrorism missions after American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan tells "Axios on HBO" in a wide-ranging interview airing Sunday at 6 pm ET.

Why it matters: The quality of counterterrorism and intelligence capabilities in Afghanistan is a critical question facing the Biden administration as U.S. forces move closer to total withdrawal by Sept. 11.

5 hours ago - World

U.S. wants nuclear deal done before Iran's new president takes power

Iranian negotiatorAbbas Araghchi arrives at the Grand Hotel Wien for the nuclear talks. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration wants to finalize a deal with Iran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal in the six weeks remaining before a new Iranian president is inaugurated, a U.S. official tells Axios.

Key quote: The official said it would be "concerning" if talks dragged on into early August, when Iran's transition is due to take place. "If we don't have a deal before a new government is formed, I think that would raise serious questions about how achievable it's going to be," the official said.

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