Markey, Dingell Ask FCC To Investigate Effect Of Private Equity On Media Ownership
July 13, 2007 at 12:35 PM (PT)
Reps. ED MARKEY (D-MA) and JOHN DINGELL (D-MI) have sent a letter to FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN asking the Commission to look into whether private equity firm ownership of broadcasting and telecommunications companies is in the public interest. Citing the CLEAR CHANNEL, UNIVISION, and ALLTEL deals and a deal involving RADIO ONE, the Congressmen told MARTIN, "We are eager to obtain your views as to the implications that private equity ownership of entities subject to the commission's jurisdiction could have on commission regulations and the public interest."
The letter suggests that private equity ownership could lead to cost-cutting and focus on revenue increases in order to make the properties attractive for resale purposes, contrary to the public interest, but also raises the possibility that such ownership might be beneficial as insulating the companies from WALL STREET pressure.