Aug 31 2009

Court Overturns Cable Company Ownership Cap

Feature Stories | Published 31 Aug 2009, 9:55 am | Comments Off on Court Overturns Cable Company Ownership Cap -

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On Friday, an appeals court overturned an FCC regulation that limited cable companies to a national ownership of thirty percent. Calling the rule “arbitrary and capricious,” the court’s decision was a victory for the Comcast Corporation. It went on to say that the FCC had not adequately factored the role of platforms such as satellite television providers in re-imposing the cap in 2007. The thirty percent rule had been originally stipulated as part of the Cable Act of 1992, but was deemed unconstitutional by a district circuit court in 2001. The FCC, after a study of cable ownership, reconstituted the cap in 2007 until it was overturned last Friday. In the court case, the regulatory agency had argued that if limits were not placed on cable ownership, then certain companies could amass enough control of the market to affect diversity in programming. Media Access Project, which was on the side of the FCC in the suit, said in response to the ruling that “this is not the end of the fight,” and pledged to either review the decision in court if possible or begin pressuring congress to pass cable consumer protection legislation.

GUEST: Marvin Ammori, General Counsel for Free Press

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