said by goliath28 :There's one essential difference there, though. In the world of TV, the production company which creates the TV shows doesn't sell any ads directly to advertisers [ok, well, they do sell product placements, so that can kind of qualify as ads]. Instead, ABC, NBC, et. al. get to sell the ads. ABC, NBC, et. al. then give a portion of the revenue back to the show's producers.
And now that I have thought even more about it ATT needs to be careful because Google could easily argue that since they are the 'content' provider they should be paid.
For example the producers of a TV show are paid by the broadcast company for the rights to show their TV show. Not the other way around, which seems to be the way ATT wants it.
With Google, when you use a Google property, Google is the one selling the ads, not AT&T.
However, there is one good point to your posts, about the ISP's needing Google in order to sell Internet connections to consumers. I think that if AT&T starts to play hardball on this issue, Google should stop serving any of their regular content to AT&T customers for a day or two. Instead, they should get a minimal/low-bandwidth page from Google explaining the situation, that the customer has paid for an Internet connection, but because of the policies of AT&T's executives and lobbyists, Google may no longer be able to provide them service in the future, and that they can consider this a taste of the Internet without Google, GMail, Youtube, etc. Then, prominently in the page, provide an email address for AT&T customer service so that customers can communicate their position on the issue to AT&T.
I bet that would shut AT&T up fast.