Court case

Developments in telecommunications policy being made in the legal system.

Google files to dismiss Ohio lawsuit to declare search engine a public utility

Google is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Ohio attorney general seeking to declare the company's search service a public utility. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R-OH) filed the lawsuit in June, arguing Google has used its dominance to prioritize its own products in a way that “intentionally disadvantages competitors.” Google’s lawyers argue in a court motion that the company does not meet the state’s requirements to be considered a common carrier. “Ohio’s Complaint mistakenly assumes Google Search is a common carrier or public utility because Ohioans choose to use Google Searc

Court Won't Stay FCC 5.9 GHz Decision

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit won't stay the Federal Communications Commission's decision to free up the spectrum that had been licensed for vehicle-to-vehicle communications for unlicensed Wi-Fi.

FTC's lead economics expert in Facebook antitrust suit leaves the agency

Carl Shapiro, the lead economics expert in the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust suit against Facebook, has parted ways with the agency—adding yet another impediment to the regulator’s largest court fight. The University of California-Berkeley economist has criticized new FTC Chair Lina Khan’s aggressive approach to antitrust enforcement, and she in turn has faulted the agency’s traditional reliance on economists’ analyses in its fights against alleged monopolists.

Conservative courts are an obstacle to Biden's antitrust agenda

The Biden administration's push to increase competition in the technology industry could be on a collision course with a formidable obstacle: the courts. As president, Donald Trump appointed 226 federal judges, leaving a huge mark on the judicial system, particularly appellate courts.

House passes bill to revive FTC authority to recover money for consumers

The House of Representatives passed the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act, largely along party lines, to revive the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) authority to return money to constituents harmed by companies found to engage in deceptive practices. The bill passed with widespread support from Democrats, yet Republicans opposed to the bill argued on the floor that the legislation was incomplete at the time of the vote. The passage of the bill comes after the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in early 2021 that the FTC did not have authority under a provision known as Section 13(b) to obta

Why I’m Suing Big Tech

Social media has become as central to free speech as town meeting halls, newspapers and television networks were in prior generations. The internet is the new public square. In recent years, however, Big Tech platforms have become increasingly brazen and shameless in censoring and discriminating against ideas, information and people on social media—banning users, deplatforming organizations, and aggressively blocking the free flow of information on which our democracy depends. This flagrant attack on free speech is doing terrible damage to our country.

Justices Gorsuch and Thomas call to revisit New York Times v. Sullivan

Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch on said the Supreme Court should revisit the breadth of the landmark First Amendment decision in New York Times v. Sullivan and explore how it applies to social media and technology companies.

Federal judge blocks Florida law that would penalize social media companies

US District Judge Robert Hinkle of the Northern District of Florida blocked a Florida law that would penalize social media companies for blocking a politician’s posts, a blow to conservatives’ efforts to respond to Facebook and other websites’ suspension of former president Donald Trump. The law was due to go into effect July 1, but in issuing a preliminary injunction, the judge suggested that the law would be found unconstitutional. “The plaintiffs are likely to prevail on the merits of their claim that these statutes violate the First Amendment,” Judge Hinkle wrote.

Federal court dismisses FTC's antitrust complaint against Facebook

A district court in DC dismissed the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust complaint against Facebook, saying the agency had failed to offer enough facts to prove Facebook has monopoly power in the social media industry. The court said the FTC could file an amended complaint with more details to bolster its case, but the judge voiced outright skepticism that Facebook is a monopoly. “It is almost as if the agency expects the Court to simply nod to the conventional wisdom that Facebook is a monopolist,” District Judge James E.

Electric Utility Warns FCC of Airwaves Disruption

Georgia-based electric utility Southern Company told the Federal Communications Commission  that, based on its testing, the unlicensed Wi-Fi use the agency has voted to allow in the 6 GHz band will disrupt incumbent services that utilities offer.