Search giant Google has quit the Facebook's zero rated platform Internet.org (now renamed FreeBasics), a Google spokesperson has confirmed to MediaNama. Google had signed up for Internet.org in Zambia in July 2014, and according to a Facebook representative, had been live on the platform as of two weeks ago (screenshot below). In a response to a query by MediaNama, a Google spokesperson stated that: Google is not a partner in Free Basics or Internet.org. However, we were included in the initial trial of this project, which was first launched in Zambia. At the time of filing this report, Facebook hadn't responded to MediaNama, despite emails, text messages, and the company spokesperson didn't return our calls. We'll update in case they respond. On January 6th, Mike Buckley, Facebook's VP of Global Business communications had pointed out that Google was still listed on the Free Basics platform in Zambia, and shared a screenshot of Google's presence on FreeBasics. https://twitter.com/MikeatFacebook/status/684773835275542528 https://twitter.com/MikeatFacebook/status/684773412309348352 Google's official confirmation of it no longer being present of FreeBasics comes a couple of weeks since then, indicating that over the last two weeks, Google has moved out of FreeBasics. On being asked by MediaNama, the Google spokesperson declined to comment on when exactly they left Internet.org/FreeBasics, but confirmed that they are no longer live on the platform. Zero Rating of individual sites and platforms is a violation of Net Neutrality, since it allows telecom operators to make some sites or platforms cheaper to access than others. Google exiting FreeBasics follows a statement in favor of Net Neutrality by Google CEO Sundar…
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