2016 September

Tech Knowledge Statement On FCC Removing Set-Top Box Vote From September Open Meeting Agenda

Posted by | Video | No Comments

Haymarket, VA, September 29, 2016 – Fred Campbell, director of Tech Knowledge, issued the following statement regarding the decision of the Federal Communications Commission to remove its planned vote on a set-top box order from today’s open meeting agenda:

“Over the last several weeks, it has become increasingly clear that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s most recent iteration of his revised proposal to regulate set-top boxes looks nothing like the proposal the agency released for public comment earlier this year. Especially in light of the obvious lack of consensus among the agency’s commissioners, the public interest would be best served by providing the public with notice of how the revised plan is expected to work and a reasonable opportunity to comment on it.

A decision that could determine the future of television shouldn’t be cloaked in secrecy. It should be decided through a transparent and open process that reflects the complexity and importance of this proceeding.”

Tech Knowledge promotes market-oriented technology policies on behalf of the public interest. Additional information about Tech Knowledge can be found on our website, techknowledge.center.

How The Obama Administration Is Rewriting Competition Law At The FCC

Posted by | Antitrust, Broadband Internet, Internet Analogies, Net Neutrality Series 2.0 | No Comments

In his first presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama said “antitrust is the American way to make capitalism work for consumers,” because, “unlike some forms of government regulation, it ensures that firms can reap the rewards of doing a better job” and “insists that customers … are the judges of what best serves their needs.” Obama vowed to “reinvigorate antitrust enforcement” and work with other jurisdictions to “curb the growth of international cartels” so that “all Americans benefit from a growing and healthy competitive free-market economy.”

Regrettably, the Obama presidency’s competition policies have not matched his campaign rhetoric. According to Daniel Crane, a law professor at the University of Michigan, Obama has not reinvigorated antitrust enforcement: “With only a few exceptions, current enforcement looks much like enforcement under the Bush Administration.”

Obama has instead shown a strong preference for relying on other forms of government competition regulation — the kind that prevents firms from reaping the rewards of their investments in American infrastructure and limits what customers can demand — while complaining about the antitrust enforcement efforts of other jurisdictions that might affect U.S corporate interests. In the process, the Obama Administration has slowly been rewriting U.S. competition law in unprecedented ways.

This process has been especially apparent in communications regulation at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Though it was once seen as a “sleepy backwater,” the FCC has radically transformed its approach to competition law during the Obama Administration. The FCC’s new approach to competitive analyses runs the risks of spillover to interpretation of antitrust laws and speculation regarding the limits of government intervention in business transactions throughout the economy. Read More