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CEI Applauds FCC Announcement Relaxing Media Ownership Rules

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Today the FCC announced plans to revise media ownership rules, freeing up the industry to function with greater competition and less restrictions.  These changes are expected to be voted on at the FCC’s November meeting.

CEI technology fellow, Jessica Melugin praised the development: “The FCC’s move is good news for consumers because any decrease in the amount of private activity being regulated in the communications industry will mean more innovation and less government distortion in the marketplace.”

Competitive Enterprise Institute Vice President for Policy and Director of Technology Studies Wayne Crews has pointed out that, “Ideas can never truly be bottled up by big media in a free society, but people have plenty to fear from an overweening government that believes it acceptable for politicians and bureaucrats to block or control media voices – even if they happen to be the big ones.” 

Crews continues, “Media ownership rules harm consumers and speech.  It will take vast resources to build both the broadband networks of tomorrow and to create the increasingly narrow-casted, interactive content that consumers are demanding.  Mergers and cross-ownership freedom, perhaps on a vastly unprecedented scale unthinkable today, will likely be part of the market processes necessary to take communications services to new heights.”

Changes outlined by the FCC today include:

  • Eliminating the broadcast/newspaper ownership rule
  • Eliminating the eight voices test within the local television ownership rule and move to case by case approvals for new stations
  • Repealing the television/radio ownership rule
  • Seeking comment on the incubator program for new broadcasters