FCC reinstates UHF discount, likely opening broadcast TV M&A floodgates

Public Knowledge Releases Second Pai-Pounding Video

Public Knowledge Releases Second Pai-Pounding Video

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he plans to take a new look at the current overall limit on companies owning stations serving no more than 39 percent of USA television households.

Sen. Edward MarkeyEd MarkeySenate Dems want Trump to release ethics waivers, visitor logs Dems ask FCC to postpone vote on business data reforms Senate Dem: Trump team moving USA to militaristic solution in North Korea MORE (D-Mass.) blasted the Federal Communications Commission Thursday for a new order easing regulations on special data access lines that critics say will reduce competition and increase prices. Their reported desire to combine would create a company whose total audience would have exceeded a statutory cap under the FCC's former rules that limit reach to 39% of the nation's television households.

Large telecom companies such as AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. provide special connections to heavy data users such as banks, retailers, schools and hospitals for services such as ATMs, credit-card authorizations and general Internet access.

"Organizations calling for delay urged BDS action late previous year, vouching for the robust record of evidence before the FCC now", the chairman added.

The FCC approved a change to the rules that will now allow noncommercial educational broadcasters to avoid having to submit personal information about all board members or directors, a burden added to NCEs in a JANUARY 2016 revision of the ownership reporting rules.

The vote was 2 to 1, with commissioner Mignon Clyburn offering a scathing review of the policy. More than a decade of FCC data revealed 73 percent of the BDS market is only served by one provider and 97 percent served by only one or two. He said that the FCC would start just such a proceeding later this year.

Southeastern to run extra trains for Sunday's London Marathon
EDT on April 23. "It was emotional doing the small run and I was getting a little upset but now I'm so excited". Bekele was third in London previous year and said he really enjoyed and learned from the experience.

Pai, however, argued that the elimination of the discount needed to go hand-in-hand with an examination of the media ownership cap.

That's likely to have its impact on big station owners, including Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI), which is reportedly considering a bid for Tribune Media (TRCO -0.5%) in the high 30s per share. Frank Pallone wrote to Pai Wednesday. The EU encouraged the FCC to rethink this proposal to consider how it might affect European companies. The rule deregulates pricing in a majority of counties and more than 90 percent of buildings using the services.

"Price regulation is seductive", he said. The order would allow market forces to set the prices of data lines rather than regulations, Pai and fellow Republican, Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, insisted.

Following a transition period, ILECs in counties meeting the competitive market test will no longer be required to file tariffs with the FCC.

"Instead of taking action to promote competition and deployment, serve the public interest, and prevent the exercise of market power that is a drag on the US economy, Chairman [Ajit] Pai and Commissioner [Michael] O'Reilly have approved an order that doubles down on incumbent market power, forcing businesses, hospitals, schools and ultimately consumers to pay more for essential connectivity", Berenbroick said.

"Ultimately, these price hikes will be passed on to consumers, and American families and businesses will pay dearly for the green light the FCC has given to the unfettered exercise of market power by dominant telecommunications providers", said Phillip Berenbroick, senior policy counsel at Public Knowledge, a digital rights group.

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