FCC MERGER CONDITIONS William T. Lake WilmerHale  Palo Alto and Washington VON.x, San Jose, CA March 17, 2008
Public interest standard <ul><li>Not just competitive harms as at DOJ </li></ul><ul><li>Must make affirmative public inter...
What this means for conditions <ul><li>Not just structural as at DOJ </li></ul><ul><li>Behavioral conditions to address ha...
“ Voluntary” <ul><li>Conditions negotiated with FCC </li></ul><ul><li>Submitted as voluntary commitments </li></ul><ul><li...
FCC uses <ul><li>Insulate policies from judicial review </li></ul><ul><li>Roll out new policies </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits...
Examples <ul><li>ILEC mergers:  interconnection and rate freezes </li></ul><ul><li>ILEC mergers:  stand-alone ADSL service...
Net neutrality <ul><li>VZ/MCI:  principles for 2 years </li></ul><ul><li>AT&T/SBC:  principles for 2 years </li></ul><ul><...
No limits     silly season <ul><li>Donate $1 million to public safety charity </li></ul><ul><li>Repatriate jobs 3000 job...
Enforced? <ul><li>Complaints to FCC   </li></ul><ul><ul><li>mostly dismissed or sitting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>FCC public ...
Worth the trouble?
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Lake William

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Transcript of "Lake William"

  1. 1. FCC MERGER CONDITIONS William T. Lake WilmerHale Palo Alto and Washington VON.x, San Jose, CA March 17, 2008
  2. 2. Public interest standard <ul><li>Not just competitive harms as at DOJ </li></ul><ul><li>Must make affirmative public interest showing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contribute to competitive market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other affirmative public benefits </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What this means for conditions <ul><li>Not just structural as at DOJ </li></ul><ul><li>Behavioral conditions to address harms from merger </li></ul><ul><li>Any other condition that promotes any FCC policy? </li></ul>
  4. 4. “ Voluntary” <ul><li>Conditions negotiated with FCC </li></ul><ul><li>Submitted as voluntary commitments </li></ul><ul><li>FCC adopts as conditions of merger approval </li></ul><ul><li>Never a legal test </li></ul>
  5. 5. FCC uses <ul><li>Insulate policies from judicial review </li></ul><ul><li>Roll out new policies </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits du jour </li></ul>
  6. 6. Examples <ul><li>ILEC mergers: interconnection and rate freezes </li></ul><ul><li>ILEC mergers: stand-alone ADSL service </li></ul><ul><li>AT&T/BellSouth: video rollout in BS territory </li></ul><ul><li>Cap USF claims unless you meet E911 accuracy </li></ul>
  7. 7. Net neutrality <ul><li>VZ/MCI: principles for 2 years </li></ul><ul><li>AT&T/SBC: principles for 2 years </li></ul><ul><li>AT&T/BellSouth: principles for 2 years </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Also no degradation or priorities for 2 years </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Comcast/TW/Adelphia: nothing </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Issue in current Comcast proceeding </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. No limits  silly season <ul><li>Donate $1 million to public safety charity </li></ul><ul><li>Repatriate jobs 3000 jobs, 200 to NOLA </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcast decency rules in space </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t seek forbearance of conditions </li></ul>
  9. 9. Enforced? <ul><li>Complaints to FCC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>mostly dismissed or sitting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>FCC public notices seeking comment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FCC doesn’t act </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SBC noncompliance payments 2000-2004 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Requests to lift conditions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often granted </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Worth the trouble?
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