May Urges FCC to Avoid 'Regulation by Condition' Bazaar
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Citing “today’s rapidly changing and converging digital environment”, Progress & Freedom Foundation Senior Fellow and Director of Communications Policy Studies Randolph J. May is urging the Federal Communications Commission to allow the merger between AT&T Broadband and Comcast Corporation to proceed, and to do so without imposing conditions which have no relationship to merger-specific competitive concerns.
”The Commission should view the proposed merger as pro-competitive, efficiency-enhancing and consistent with the public interest,” May writes in comments filed today with the FCC. “And it should not allow the indeterminate nature of the public interest standard to serve as an opportunity for opening a ‘regulation by condition’ bazaar, as has often been the case in the past with respect to the Commission’s handling of merger proposals.”
“The merger is likely to promote more facilities-based competition for high-speed Internet access and other broadband services, a well as more facilities-based competition in the local telephone market,” he writes. “The economies of scale and scope and synergies produced by the merger should make the combined company a stronger facilities-based infrastructure provider in this changing and converging digital marketplace.”
May’s current filing draws on comments he submitted with Foundation President Jeffrey A. Eisenach in January, urging the FCC to adopt minimally restrictive regulatory requirements as the agency sets new ownership rules for multi-system cable television operators. In that filing, May and Eisenach concluded the Commission “must recognize that horizontal and vertical combinations…have an important role to play in enabling firms to achieve the economies of scale and scope necessary to build out and provide video and other services over competing platforms, whether they be cable, satellite, wireline, 3G wireless or whatever.” In February, Eisenach submitted separate comments in favor of the proposed merger between Echostar and DirecTV.
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.