It’s the holiday season, and the Federal Communications Commission has been in a giving mood for the largest media companies. Over the past few months, the FCC has adopted a number of items that have relaxed or eliminated rules around media ownership. On their own, these actions allow for the largest media companies to further consolidate, drowning out diverse, independent, and local voices in the marketplace. However, the FCC’s actions have also particularly benefited one broadcast company -- Sinclair -- and its effort to merge with Tribune.
Today, Public Knowledge sent a letter to Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, reiterating concerns raised by RCN and Senator Richard Blumenthal regarding Comcast’s compliance with the consent decree controlling its 2011 acquisition of NBC Universal. The consent decree is set to expire next year.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to modify or eliminate the 39 percent national audience reach cap that prevents broadcast stations from owning too much of the market. The NPRM will also seek comment on the UHF discount used by broadcast television station groups to calculate compliance with the audience reach cap.
Amazon and Google are putting consumers in the middle of a corporate battle between the two technology giants. According to the reports, Google has blocked YouTube from the Amazon Echo Show, and will be removing its YouTube app from Amazon’s Fire TV. This is in response to Amazon refusing to carry certain Google hardware products in its store. Public Knowledge contends that this behavior by major platforms jeopardizes consumer choice.