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Comcast, the 1992 Cable Act, and You

November 8, 2019 1992 Cable Act , Comcast , Mergers , monopsony , MVPD , Starz , Video Marketplace

Don’t be disappointed, but this post isn’t going to give you a complete history of the 1992 Cable Act. That law had a lot of great ideas — and led to some great results — but it also had some disappointments, as the law was either watered down or poorly implemented. However, one of its […]

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The FCC Can — and Should — Update Its Rules to Combat Rising Cross-Ownership

February 25, 2019 Competition , FCC , Litigation , Media Ownership , Mergers

The Federal Communications Commission is required by law to review its media ownership rules every four years to determine whether they remain “necessary in the public interest.” If they do not, the FCC is to “repeal or modify” the regulations. Contrary to the apparent belief of the FCC, the Quadrennial Review is not simply about eliminating or relaxing rules. Rather, the purpose of the review is to serve the public interest. Therefore, when the FCC decides whether to keep, repeal, or modify current rules, some rules may need to be enhanced.

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In the Aftermath of the AT&T/Time Warner Decision, There’s Still Hope

June 19, 2018 AT&T , ATTTime Warner , Competition , Mergers , Time Warner

Last week was a difficult week for antitrust and consumer rights advocates. On Monday, the net neutrality rules (the ones that kept internet service providers from acting as gatekeepers of the internet) officially went off the books. (We are, of course, fighting to bring them back.) The next day, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon issued a ruling permitting the AT&T/Time Warner mega-merger to proceed, in a lawsuit brought on by the Department of Justice. This ruling was more troubling news for consumers, as well as for the future of online competition.

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Amazon in Review: What the Amazon-Whole Foods Merger Teaches Us About Antitrust

August 29, 2017 Antitrust , Antitrust Law , Competition , Competition Policy , Mergers

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission approved the merger between internet-giant Amazon and Whole Foods, the original organic grocer. You may be surprised how quickly the merger passed regulatory muster, especially given the public’s desire for strong antitrust enforcement to promote vigorous competition and equity in our economy, including our digital one. You may be wondering: Is this a case of weak enforcement? Is it proof that today’s antitrust doctrine is useless for digital-age companies? Or are critics of growing digital market concentration simply wrong to express concern? My guess is “none of the above.” Here’s why.

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Argentina’s Dangerous Path Toward Media and Communications Dominance

July 20, 2017 Argentina , Competition , International , Mergers , OTT Content

Imagine if Comcast owned iHeartradio, the New York Times, and AT&T. And in many places, your only option for an Internet Service Provider is Comcast. Your news would be provided by Comcast. Your cable TV: Comcast. Your favorite radio stations: also Comcast. Scary, right? Yet, that is exactly what will happen in South America’s second largest economy, Argentina, if the proposed merger of Cablevision (the telecom branch of Grupo Clarín, Argentina’s largest media conglomerate) and Telecom (one of the two telecommunications companies resulting from the privatization of Argentina’s national monopoly in 1990) goes through.

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