Lake William
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Lake William

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Lake William Lake William Presentation Transcript

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