The central question for the October 25th event, The Internet’s Midlife Crisis, was whether or not the Internet had entered a phase in its life where it was being progressively walled off, and if this was a bad thing. Andrès Martinez, the event moderator, began the discussion by asking if Steve Case had been prescient in 2000 when he engaged in the merger with Time Warner, and if Steve Jobs was now finishing the job Case had begun ten years ago. Internet expert, and author of the new book The Master Switch, Tim Wu responded that the Information and Communications Technology Industry, like most industries, experiences long cycles of increasing openness and insularity. The trend toward vertical integration in the ICT industry is not abnormal given the history of technology and industry. The AOL/Time Warner case wasn’t necessarily indicative of the fact that the Internet is built to resist this kind of vertical integration, though it might be, but, rather, that the captive audience Time Warner thought it was getting in AOL didn’t actually exist, because new search technologies were about to make AOL obsolete. The next panel—composed of Sascha Meinrath of NAF’s Open Technology Initiative, Bruce Bartlett formerly of the FCC, and Link Hoewing of Verizon—continued in much the same vein. Relying on Steve Job’s recent characterization of the two camps as “integrated” vs. “fragmented”, it was ultimately argued that in many ways these simply represented two different product models, for two different classes of customer. However, as Meinrath pointed out, the existence of a moderate amount of consumer choice didn’t mean that we were fairing well relative to other industrialized nations, or that there wasn’t a trend afoot to try and integrate the Internet itself, rather than just the devices we use to access it. The existence of one group of consumers that wants a clean, trouble free, and easy to use product, and another that wants the option to customize every aspect of their technological devices, does not preclude the possibility that corporate actors are moving to “wall off”, or segment the Internet in ways that might be inimical to both innovation and freedom of expression.