How to Make Sense of Net Neutrality and Telecom Under Trump

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First, the Department of Justice sued to block AT&T's proposed $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. The next day, the Federal Communications Commission unveiled a proposal to loosen the limits on the number of television and radio stations a broadcast company can own, the latest in a series of moves that pave the way for Sinclair Broadcasting's proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Company. The same week, the FCC unveiled its plan to overturn net-neutrality rules that ban broadband providers, including AT&T, from blocking or discriminating against legal content. In other words, even as one government agency looks to constrain the growth of AT&T, the nation's largest pay-TV company and one of its largest internet providers, another is working to unshackle broadcast and telecom companies from rules its staff says are burdensome. Many see the apparently conflicting moves by the two agencies as simple political payback, and it’s hard to dismiss that idea. But the differences between the two agencies’ agendas also reflect a conflict between Trump's populist promises to reign in corporations and his campaign pledge to reduce regulations on business. Trump's choices of leaders for the two agencies embody that conflict as well.


How to Make Sense of Net Neutrality and Telecom Under Trump