CNN said that it is suing President Donald Trump and other administration officials over the decision to suspend the White House press credentials of correspondent Jim Acosta after a conflict at a news conference. The lawsuit, to be filed in US District Court for the District of Columbia, escalates an ongoing battle between President Trump and the cable news outlet that he frequently accuses of disseminating “fake news” for its aggressive coverage of him and his administration.
One after another, 15 Democratic senators — nearly a third of their caucus — stepped to a microphone on Capitol Hill to call for tough rules to protect net neutrality. The turnout, which included Senate Democratic leader Charles E.
AT&T’s chief executive, Randall Stephenson, attacked the Justice Department’s lawsuit to block its merger with Time Warner, saying that a combined company would be no different from the Silicon Valley giants that make and distribute video content. As the last witness for the defense in the Justice Department’s legal battle against AT&T’s $85.4 billion deal to buy Time Warner, Stephenson portrayed the 140-year-old phone giant as being in an existential crisis and in need of the deal with Time Warner to compete against tech companies.
AT&T wants to buy Time Warner to 'weaponize' its content, government says at start of antitrust trial
The biggest US antitrust case of this century kicked into high gear as a government lawyer warned that AT&T wants to buy media giant Time Warner to "weaponize" its must-have content — a move that would raise prices for consumers and hinder innovation. AT&T's added leverage over pay-TV competitors to withhold content from some of the most valuable assets in entertainment — including HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT and Warner Bros., Hollywood's largest TV and film studio — would cause prices to rise by more than $400 million a year for Americans, said Justice Department lawyer Craig Conrath.
Justice Department's effort to halt AT&T-Time Warner merger goes to trial as both sides spar over evidence
The high-stakes antitrust showdown over AT&T's planned $85 billion purchase of Time Warner began in a Washington courtroom as both sides sparred over some key issues that signaled their legal strategies. Opening arguments aren't scheduled until March 21 in a trial U.S. District Judge Richard DeLeon said could last six to eight weeks — about twice as long as originally estimated when the Justice Department sued last fall to halt the deal.
Paid prioritization involves a telecommunications company charging an additional fee to transport a video stream or other content at a higher speed through its network. The fee would most likely come from deals struck with websites such as Netflix willing to pay for a competitive advantage over an online rival.
Here are the five commissioners who will decide the latest round of the net neutrality battle at the Federal Communications Commission’s Dec. 14 meeting.
A warning to the hundreds of thousands of people publicly urging the Federal Communications Commission to keep its tough net neutrality rules: You might be wasting your time.
The FCC’s Republican majority has indicated it won’t be swayed by the electronic messages flooding the agency’s website. “Commission outcomes are not and cannot be decided by poll numbers or letter counts,” said FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly, a Republican. A top aide to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who is leading the charge to repeal the rules, echoed that view. Robert McDowell, a former Republican FCC commissioner who has known Chairman Pai for years, said the facts on the issue will outweigh the volume of public comment. “Ajit Pai will be data-driven and not poll-driven,” McDowell said. Supporters of the regulations said it’s still important for members of the public to express their views: The opinions of average Americans could influence judges if a rule change is challenged in court as well as members of Congress if they decide to write net neutrality legislation.
Commissioners Pai and O’Rielly could be taking a big risk if they dismiss public sentiment, said Gigi Sohn, who served as counselor to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat who pushed the rules into place. “I say defy the American people at your own peril,” Sohn said. “To the extent the FCC is supposed to act in ‘the public convenience interest and necessity,’ it might be important what the people think,” she said, quoting a phrase from the telecommunications law regarding the FCC’s oversight of the public airwaves.
American Enterprise Institute’s Jeffrey Eisenach, who advised the Trump transition team on telecommunications policy, said, “When you get millions of comments that basically say, ‘Net neutrality is a principle that has to be upheld. I don’t really know the facts. If you vote against this rule, you’re the scum of the Earth,’ that’s not the kind of evidence that the commission should be weighing.” But Sohn said Americans are busy and even filing a short statement to the FCC shows that the issue is important to them. The agency’s leaders should care about that. “To simply kind of wipe your hands of the public submissions is really not what an administrative agency should be doing,” she said. “They’ve got to take them into account.”
HBO’s John Oliver isn’t about to let the tough network neutrality rules he helped get enacted be erased without a fight. Three years ago, a 20-minute net neutrality segment on his HBO show “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” went viral. It helped spur an outpouring of public comments that led the Federal Communications Commission to enact tough regulations protecting the free flow of online content. Now, with current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai moving to dismantle the tough legal oversight behind those rules, Oliver took to the airwaves again urging Internet users to tell the agency to leave net neutrality alone. As further encouragement, Oliver’s team created a quicker way to navigate in the FCC website. Rather than searching for the specific page that solicits public comment on this topic, people can go to gofccyourself.com and click the “express” link on the right side to express their views.
It began as an academic subject with a wonky name — network neutrality. But at its heart, the issue was simple: Internet service providers should treat all content equally. Within a few years, the phrase — shortened to the slightly less-wonky net neutrality — became a rallying cry for Silicon Valley technology companies, liberals and online free-speech advocates.
For broadband companies and free-market conservatives, net neutrality became code for a government meddling in the vibrant Internet economy. Now, after some bizarre pop culture moments, an embrace by a young senator on his way to the presidency, three major court rulings and more than 4 million public comments (and counting) to federal regulators, the term has become part of the online and political lexicon.