Developments in telecommunications policy being made in the legal system.
A federal judge approved the blockbuster merger between AT&T and Time Warner, rebuffing the government’s effort to block the $85.4 billion deal, in a decision that is expected to unleash a wave of takeovers in corporate America. Judge Richard J. Leon of the United States District Court in Washington said the Justice Department had not proved that the telecommunication company’s acquisition of Time Warner would lead to fewer choices for consumers and higher prices for television and internet services.
One of the most important antitrust cases in recent decades, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) move to block AT&T from acquiring Time Warner, goes to trial in Washington, DC, on March 19. The significance of the case goes well beyond its impact on this huge transaction and on future media mergers.
A federal appeals court ruled the Federal Trade Commission can move forward with its lawsuit alleging AT&T misled wireless subscribers by reducing data speeds for several million customers who thought they had purchased unlimited plans. The ruling by the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals is a notable win for the FTC because it restores the agency’s regulatory authority over large internet service providers.
The special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations owith illegally using social media platforms to sow political discord, including actions that supported the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump and disparaged his opponent, Hillary Clinton. In a 37-page indictment filed in United States District Court, Mueller said that the 13 individuals have conspired since 2014 to violate laws that prohibit foreigners from spending money to inf
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google chief executive Sundar Pichai personally approved a secret deal that gave the social network a leg up in the search giant’s online advertising auctions, attorneys for Texas and other states alleged in newly unsealed court filings.
The Federal Communications Commission says that the Supreme Court need not disturb an appellate decision ruling against the City of Eugene (OR) over its imposition of a seven percent fee on cable operators providing broadband Internet service that use municipal rights-of-way. The dispute partly stems from an FCC order governing franchising authority's ability to regulate cable operators’ provision of non-cable services.
Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel responded to House Republicans' letter regarding state and federal net neutrality laws. The GOP letter—dated April 16, 2021 and led by Reps Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Bob Latta (R-OH) as well as 24 others—addressed the Justice Department's withdrawal of its 2018 lawsuit against California for passing its own net neutrality regulations and Rosenworcel's support of the decision.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of the Federal Communications Commission in its decision to designate a large swath of the 6 GHz band to unlicensed users, including Wi-Fi. AT&T had challenged the FCC’s decision, saying it posed potential interference with existing fixed microwave users. “Petitioners have failed to provide a basis for questioning the Commission’s conclusion that the Order will protect against a significant risk of harmful interference,” the court wrote in its December 28 decision.
A lawsuit filed by a major provider of broadband services alleges that a recent decision by the Iowa Utilities Board has prevented it from participating in the rollout of a $23 million expansion of broadband service for rural Iowans. LTD Broadband, a Las Vegas-based company with roughly 150 employees, owns and operates more than 2,500 communications towers in Iowa and six other states, and is suing the Iowa Utilities Board over the alleged delays.