On Friday, the FCC (with the Department of Justice) and a group of interested media industry companies filed requests asking that the Supreme Court review the decision of the Third Circuit overturning the FCC’s 2017 decision on its ownership rules (the FCC petition for a writ of certiorari is available here). The FCC’s 2017 decision abolished the newspaper/broadcast and radio/television cross-ownership rules, and made changes to the local television rule and other ownership rules (see our post here on the 2017 decision). Last September, a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit overturned the rule changes, not necessarily disagreeing that times had changed and that the new media marketplace justified a relaxation in the ownership rules, but instead finding that the FCC had not done an adequate job in assessing the impact of the rule changes on minorities and other potential new entrants to the broadcast industry (see our article here on the court’s decision).
After the court’s decision, the FCC and the interested industry parties sought review by all of the judges on the Third Circuit of the decision made by the three-judge panel, a review that was denied last year (see our article here). That led to the FCC’s order immediately before Christmas, reinstating the pre-2017 rules and requiring that broadcasters comply with those rules when filing new applications (see our article here).
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