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Media ownership

Jonathan Lee: Antitrust Division’s Flawed Case Against AT&T/Time Warner is Simply Too General

Telecom attorney Jonathan Lee takes down the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s specious case against the AT&T/Time Warner merger in this detailed blog post, excerpted below. (Click on the link at the bottom for the whole argument.) Here’s the money quote: “This alleged harm is simply too general to merit analysis.” Assumptions On Assumptions:… Keep Reading

FCC/Media/Media ownership/Wireless

Broadband Roundup: FTC Against Public Utility Broadband Regulation, Holder Slaps Tech Industry, and FCC Video News

WASHINGTON, October 2, 2014 ­- Federal Trade Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen warned that reclassifying broadband under public utility regulation including in Title II of the Communications Act would put ISPs beyond the legal reach of the FTC, the Washington Post reported. The item was previously reported in Broadband Breakfast. Currently, the FTC is not able to… Keep Reading

FCC/Media ownership/Net Neutrality

Broadband Roundup: Incumbents Defend Data Caps, Comcast Cites Competition for Merger, and Wheeler Seeks Diversity of Media Ownership

WASHINGTON, September 24, 2014 –Verizon Communications and AT&T are urging the Federal Communications Commission to include the use of data caps in the agency’s definition of broadband. Including usage-based pricing in its definition is important because companies that use universal service funds to build networks in rural areas must accept the standards laid out in… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Wireless Data Exploding, Will Sprint Succeed with T-Mobile, Cybersecurity Bill

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2014 – A new study by Wireless Association CTIA reported that between 2012 and 2013, mobile traffic and data increased by 120 percent. That’s 383 times the data usage from 2008. The result was $331 billion worth of investments into wireless networks last year, according to the association. On the communications merger… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: AT&T-DirecTV Merger and its Impact on the Marketplace

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2014 – AT&T announced that it would acquire DirecTV in a $48.5 billion deal, according to multiple sources. The agreement may allow AT&T to position itself in a way to rival cable firms. AT& would acquire about 20 million of DirecTV’s customers. The Washington Post recounts that the stated goal of the… Keep Reading

Video from February’s Broadband Breakfast Club on Data Caps

WASHINGTON, Thursday, February 21st, 2013 – The broadband policy news and events service BroadbandBreakfast.com held its February 2013 Broadband Breakfast Club event “Data Caps, the Spectrum Crunch and the Wireless Home” this past Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 at Clyde’s of Gallery Place. Speakers included: Keynote: Ruth Milkman, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission Panel: Roger Entner, Founder, Recon Analytics Nick Feamster, Associate Professor in… Keep Reading

Broadband Adoption and Usage: If You’re Not Online, You’re Missing What You Need to Know

June 25, 2012 – Having access to broadband technology and other digital tools is a key ingredient to economic, social, and political connectedness. Yet only 69 percent of Americans have broadband internet connections at home. What vital services are the other one-third missing? One example was apparent at last Tuesday’s Broadband Breakfast Club, on “The… Keep Reading

AT&T’s Newly Proposed Economic Model For Merger Riles Opposition

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2011 – Sen. Al Franken (D-MN.) sent a filing to the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice Tuesday requesting the denial of the merger between wireless carriers AT&T and T-Mobile. Less than 24 hours after AT&T submitted its most recent economic model to the FCC and DOJ for the proposed merger with T-Mobile, the junior senator from Minnesota weighed in on the conflict, stating that the merger would drive up prices for consumers and likely cost thousands of jobs. Keep Reading

Analysis: Consumers Still Confused About New 4G LTE Systems

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2011- Both AT&T and Verizon taken steps to to deploy their 4G LTE networks in recent months, with Sprint and T-Mobile heavily advertising their existing 4G technologies. With rampant speculation regarding the iPhone 5 industry watchers have predicted that consumers would be clamoring for the faster speeds promised by LTE. "Not so," says consumer research firm Retrevo. Keep Reading

Economic Policy Institute Debates AT&T T-Mobile Merger

WASHINGTON June 29, 2011-The Economic Policy Institute gathered leading industry experts for a panel on Tuesday to debate the impending merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. At the end of March, AT&T announced plans to purchase T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion. The merger has garnered a great deal of controversy because it would create the nation’s largest mobile provider. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: Why the FCC should deny the AT&T / T-Mobile Merger

In order for the Federal Communications Commission to approve the mega-merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, AT&T has to make a showing that the merger is in the public interest. Despite AT&T’s declaration that this merger is the most pro-consumer, pro-innovation and pro-investment solution to America’s wireless problems, a mega-merger like this can only hurt the broadband market, both for innovators and consumers alike. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: A Stand-Alone T-Mobile Isn’t an Option for the Future. So What’s Best for Consumers and Workers?

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2011 - Let’s start with the facts. A stand-alone T-Mobile is not an option for the future. German parent company Deutsche Telekom had announced that it was seeking a deal and had considered a speculative offer, Sprint and AT&T for the sale. T-Mobile did not have the cash or spectrum to invest in a next-generation, 4G LTE wireless network. And without a 4G network, there could be no future for T-Mobile, its customers and employees. AT&T and T-Mobile use the same technology. Combining T-Mobile and AT&T spectrum turns two two-lane roads into a four lane superhighway. AT&T is willing to put up $8 billion in extra investment. And AT&T, a financially healthy company, will pay for the transaction in equity and internal cash flows. Keep Reading

Sprint Joins Rural Cellular Association

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2011 - At the group's annual convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Rural Cellular Association CEO, Steven Berry, announced the addition of wireless carrier, Sprint to the RCA. "This is a very timely addition to RCA’s membership, and a stronger membership will certainly help ensure that our voices are heard at the Federal Communications Commission, on Capitol Hill, and at the White House and other parts of the Executive Branch,” said Berry through a joint statement released this week. Keep Reading

Free Press Panel Blasts ‘Broken’ FCC

BOSTON, April 13, 2011 - Panelists at the Free Press National Conference for Media Reform railed on the Federal Communications Commission over the weekend, debating to what extent the Commission has been "captured" by industry and how to fix it. Joel Kelsey, Political Advisor at Free Press, moderated the panel, entitled "How to Fix the Broken FCC." The event included participants from the public interest, industry and government sectors. Keep Reading

Copps, Clyburn Push Media Reform In Boston

BOSTON, April 11, 2011 - Speaking to a standing-room only crowd on Friday afternoon, Federal Communications Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn addressed media consolidation and broadband deployment before fielding questions at a town hall meeting during Free Press's National Conference for Media Reform. Media scholar, Robert McChesney, offered the introduction for the event, addressing both the packed auditorium, an overflow room and those watching live via the web. Both commissioners received standing ovations from the crowd as they took the stage. Keep Reading

AT&T Announces $39B Deal To Acquire T-Mobile

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2011 - Nationwide wireless carrier, AT&T announced Sunday that it had finalized an agreement to acquire competitor T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion in cash and stock. The deal between the nation's second- and fourth-largest carriers would likely create the largest nationwide wireless carrier, topping current leader, Verizon. Keep Reading

Analysis: CNBCU Conditions Will Stimulate Growth, Not Restrict It

The Federal Communications Commission’s recent approval of Comcast’s purchase of NBCU has come with some major conditions that will limit any potential discriminatory policies the new firm might have engaged in. The new entity, CNBCU, will become one of the nation’s largest content creation and distribution companies. CNBCU will be in a unique position in that they will not only control the creation of content but also the method in which it is distributed. Unchecked, this vertical integration could lead to monopolistic actions. Keep Reading

FCC Approves Comcast-NBCU Merger

WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission announced Tuesday afternoon that it had come to an agreement with Comcast and NBC Universal to approve the merger of the two companies. The Commission gave the merger the go ahead after the companies agreed to a number of conditions, among them adherence to the FCC’s recent Open Internet… Keep Reading

Media/Media ownership

Cablevision Accuses Fox of “Bad Faith” In Retrans Fight

San Francisco, October 25th, 2010 -- Cablevision Systems on Monday accused Fox Television parent News Corp of violating federal regulations that govern the terms of negotiations underlying business agreements between video distributors and broadcasters. The move sets the stage for a potential intervention by the Federal Communications Commission, or failing that, legislative action in Congress. Keep Reading

Will Copyright Law Save New York Area Baseball Fans?

As the landmark dispute over retransmission consent fees between Fox and Cablevision threatens to drag on through Tuesday, New York area baseball fans who are also Cablevision subscribers are scrambling to make alternative plans to view or hear the game. One ostensibly legal option they have is to view the Tuesday game between the San Francisco Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies on a new internet television service that retransmits broadcasters' signals over the internet. Keep Reading

Sen. Franken Sees Net Neutrality an Important First Amendment Issue

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2010 – Sen. Al Franken says that he believes “net neutrality is the First Amendment issue of our time, and the merger of Comcast and NBC is an enormous concern. ”If no one stops the Comcast and NBC merger, Franken asked: “How long do you think it will take before four or five mega corporations affectively control the flow of the information in America not only on television but online?” Keep Reading

Will This Signal Be Televised? ‘Retransmission Consent’ Unscrambled At Breakfast Panel Of Broadcasters, Cable Industry and Public Interest Reps

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2010 - If you missed Broadbandbreakfast.com's panel session on retransmission consent fees, here's your chance to catch up and re-examine the issues in a complex debate that's been controversial since the enactment of the regime in the 1992 Cable Act. Keep Reading

Small Town’s Telecom Drama Continues: Municipal Utility Sues Cable Group For Discriminatory Access To Programming

NEW YORK, June 10, 2010 - A long-running feud between a municipal utility in Lafayette, La. and Cox Communications appears to have revived itself Wednesday when LUS Fiber filed a lawsuit against the National Cable Television Cooperative. LUS Fiber charges that the cable group is unfairly denying it membership, thus depriving the Lafayette utility from millions of dollars in savings when buying television programming. Keep Reading

FCC/Media ownership

Distributors Should Provide Customers With Prominent Notice of Status of Programming Agreements, Says Local Broadcaster

SAN FRANCISCO, May 26, 2010 - The Federal Communications Commission could easily protect television viewers from having their programming disrupted by business disputes between broadcasters and program distributors by requiring the program distributors to conspicuously notify their customers of pending contract expirations, suggested an executive from a local broadcasting company in a recent filing with the commission. The commission has asked for public input on the question of whether it should change its rules regarding retransmission consent fees, the fees and fee packages that cable, satellite and telecom companies pay broadcasters for carrying the signals to their own customers in addition to compulsory copyright licensing fees. Keep Reading

FCC/Media ownership

Discovery, Ovation and Starz Side With Cable and Telcos Against Broadcasters In Retrans Consent Fee Dispute

SAN FRANCISCO, May 26, 2010 -- The rules governing the terms on which cable and telecommunications companies get to retransmit broadcasters' signals definitely need an update, said a group of independent programmers in several recent filings with the Federal Communications Commission. The filings, from Discovery Communications, The Africa Channel, C-Span, Ovation, Retirement Living TV and Starz, all complain that federal law grants broadcasting companies too much power, and that has resulted in independent programmers' increasing marginalization. Keep Reading

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