FCC Challenges Court's Smackdown

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The Federal Communications Commission is seeking full-court review of a three-judge panel decision vacating its broadcast media ownership deregulation decision. The FCC filed a petition for review, arguing that the three-judge panel decision imposed burdens beyond those allowed in the Administrative Procedure Act, second-guessed the FCC to the point that it undermined congressional intent, and breaks with higher-court and sister-court precedents. “Over the last 15 years," said a FCC spokesperson, "while the media marketplace has changed dramatically, the same Third Circuit panel has repeatedly prevented the FCC from modernizing its ownership rules, including the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule that dates back to 1975. We hope that the full Third Circuit will agree to hear this case and finally allow the FCC to update these rules for the digital age.”  

"It is extremely disappointing that the FCC would prefer to fight rather than do what would benefit everyone, which is to assess the impact of its actions on its goals of localism, diversity and competition," said Andrew Jay Schwartzman, senior counselor at the Benton Institute. "As a legal matter, this petition comes 15 years too late; the FCC's challenge is really to what the same judges found in 2004, and if it had problems with the initial holding, it would have had to make this appeal at that time."

FCC Challenges Court's Broadcast Dereg Smackdown