FCC Defends Authority To Loosen Cross-Ownership
July 22, 2010 at 4:24 AM (PT)
The FCC filed its reply brief in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in the ownership rules proceeding, telling the court that the Commission has the authority to relax the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership restriction in the top-20 markets and retain them in smaller markets.
The brief concentrates on the Commission's authority to make the decision rather than the revisions themselves, and Chairman JULIUS GENACHOWSKI, in an accompanying brief, noted that "the rules being challenged were adopted before I became Chairman," but that "the order was within the discretion of the Commission and the brief's general defense of the Commission's authority to make decisions based on the information before it at the time."
Commissioner MICHAEL COPPS, an opponent of consolidation, objected to the FCC's brief, saying that the Commission is "basically accepting the validity of the pro-consolidation decision of a previous Commission. We have had 18 months to reconsider the awful vote that loosened our newspaper-broadcast cross ownership rules, but the best we can do, judging from today's brief, is to kick the media ownership can farther down the road."