The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) today applauded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for its decision to petition the Third Circuit Court of Appeals for an en banc hearing in Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC. The case challenges the FCC’s statutory authority “to review the broadcast ownership rules on a regular basis” and “repeal or modify any regulation it determines to be no longer in the public interest.” At issue is the FCC’s decision to update rules barring common ownership of different types of media entities, for instance barring a newspaper from also owning a television or radio station in a single market. CEI previously called on the FCC to appeal the Third Circuit’s decision against the FCC’s new rules.
CEI research analyst Patrick Hedger said:
“Preventing local newspapers and broadcasters from achieving natural economies of scale in the face of new competition does not empower anyone. It chokes off vital resources for existing voices and eliminates the opportunity for future ones to enter the marketplace. The law and the economics remain firmly on the side of the FCC in this case. We’re delighted the Commission is continuing the fight to keep newspapers and broadcasters competitive amidst the media market upheaval brought on by the Internet. What’s more, they’re doing it not through wasteful subsidies or regulatory protectionism, but liberalization to the letter of Congress’s intent.”