Public Knowledge Responds to FCC Report Claiming “Effective” Wireless Industry Competition

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Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to publish an annual report on the state of mobile wireless competition. The 20th Mobile Wireless Competition Report examines data from 2016, as well as certain information for early 2017 and additional supporting information. The agency claims that the metrics assessed in the report indicate that there is “effective competition” in the marketplace for mobile wireless services. Public Knowledge disagrees with the report’s conclusion.

The following can be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge:

“It is ironic that at the very moment the public is debating whether reliance on four-firm competition is enough to protect small businesses and consumers, the FCC declares ‘mission accomplished.’

“We shouldn’t ignore how four-firm competition, data roaming rules, spectrum screens and other regulations adopted by previous Administrations continue to benefit consumers. At the same time, we cannot ignore the continuing problems of concentration -- particularly in rural markets and for low-income Americans.

“The purpose of the Competition Report is to provide an important tool for Congress and the American people to understand the wireless market. It is not intended to put a happy face on an industry that remains concentrated by conventional antitrust metrics.”

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