Money Minute: 'Open Internet' Threatened; Apple's 'Watershed' Moment


A court ruling could make the Internet more expensive for some users.

Netflix (NFLX), Google's (GOOG) YouTube and other big Internet content providers could be the big losers in the wake of a federal appeals court ruling. They may have to pay tolls to Internet providers so that users can continue to watch and download their heavy bandwidth programs. The court struck down the Federal Communication Commission's "open Internet" rules that gave equal access to all Internet traffic.

That means companies such as Verizon (VZ), Comcast (CMCSA) and AT&T (T), which own the delivery pipes, could charge more to big users. Don't be surprised if consumers end up paying the added costs.

Online gambling in New Jersey is off to slow start. Revenue in the first five weeks it was available totaled less than $8.5 million, far short of expectations. %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Part of the problem is that some major banks refuse to let their credit cards be used for online gambling. About 150,000 New Jerseyans have opened accounts to play.

Overall gambling in New Jersey is on the wane. Revenue generated at Atlantic City's casinos fell below $3 billion last year for the first time since 1991.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) jumped 116 points Tuesday, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) rose 19 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rallied 69. The tech-heavy index begins trading at the highest level since September of 2000.

Apple's (AAPL) iPhone goes on sale at China Mobile this Friday, and the Chinese company says it has already received millions of preorders. China Mobile also said its deal with Apple will go well beyond smartphones, but didn't specify what else might be involved. The potential for Apple is huge. China Mobile has more customers than the U.S. has citizens.

And General Motors (GM) says it will resume paying a dividend beginning in March. The automaker suspended its payment to shareholders in 2008, as it headed into bankruptcy. But the company has rebounded with a string of quarterly profits.