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Flickr Creative Commons

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, filed its papers to go public this week, making it the first big tech listing of the year. But it's wary of another development expected this year that would be bad news for its long-term success.

In its filing with the SEC, Snap said it relies on current FCC net neutrality rules banning mobile providers from discriminating against content providers like Snapchat, and also preventing carriers from striking deals with certain content providers for faster, better service.

"If the FCC, Congress, the European Union, or the courts modify these open internet rules, mobile providers may be able to limit our users' ability to access Snapchat or make Snapchat a less attractive alternative to our competitors' applications. Were that to happen, our business would be seriously harmed."

Why Snap is worried: Republicans at the FCC and in Congress want to dismantle the current rules that expanded the FCC's oversight of the broadband industry. Without firm rules requiring providers treat internet traffic equally, Snapchat content could be slowed down on some networks in favor of competitors' content or apps. That wouldn't go over well with its primary user base: impatient teenagers.

The latest: On Friday, a day after Snap filed for its IPO, new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai indicated he doesn't intend to go after wireless carriers over free data, or "zero rating," programs that let consumers view certain content and apps without it counting against their data limits. (Current FCC rules allow the agency to assess these plans on a case-by-case basis and intervene if necessary.) In response the Internet Association, which counts Snapchat among its members, said zero rating can promote consumer choice. But, "when done improperly or left unchecked it can also be harmful to consumers and stifle competition online."

What's next: Republican policymakers generally agree that the current rules' prohibition of blocking, throttling and fast lanes should stay in place, but they want to vanquish provisions that gave the FCC expanded regulatory power. How they'll go about doing that is still an open question. And Snapchat, like other companies who rely on broadband networks to reach consumers, knows the devil is in the details.

Go deeper

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

Apple's quarterly sales top $100 billion for first time

Credit: Apple

Spurred by strong sales of the latest iPhones, Apple reported it took in a record $111 billion in revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31, as the company crushed expectations.

Why it matters: The move showed even a pandemic didn't dull demand for Apple's latest smartphones.