It’s hard to argue for one or the other in broad generalities, but I see it as somewhat analogous to the larger argument about government regulation of monopolies and oligopolies vs. believing that the free market will always deliver the best results. The problem is that free markets are not always free – sometimes if the government doesn’t control them, then often a small group of mega-corporations will.
A few specific examples on the Internet front in my area. Depending on where you live you might have access to two broadband ISPs, generally cable or DSL, and in some cases third-party resellers thereof. In my experience the two major providers aligned by technology – cable and DSL – are so absolutely in lock-step with each other that if you see one offer either a new feature or a new restriction, it’s practically guaranteed that the other one is doing the same. So much for competition. A few years ago they both simultaneously announced a drastic cutback in monthly download quota with a corresponding price schedule for exceeding it. The draconian plan was rescinded when they were ordered to do so by regulatory authorities.
The other issue is the one I mentioned before. In an era of “convergence”, if the ISP is also a content provider, then there is an almost irresistible temptation to manipulate the core functionality of the Internet service to favor their own content and put competitive content providers at a disadvantage; by extension, this manipulation of what should be a fundamental digital bandwidth service could extend to any content provider who wishes to pay for favorable treatment, provided of course that it doesn’t compete with the ISP conglomerate’s own offerings. To offer a not very good semi-serious analogy, if the telephone service worked that way, every time you called to order a pizza, you would get “Bell Pizza” regardless of what number you dialed. That’s fundamentally contrary to how a telecommunications service – or an “information highway” – should work.