Appeals Court Upholds AT&T Time Warner Merger
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has affirmed the District Court’s opinion denying the Justice Department’s request for a permanent injunction against the merger. The Court said: “At trial, the government presented expert opinion on the likely anticompetitive effects of the proposed merger on the video programming and distribution industry as forecast by economic principles and a quantitative model. It also presented statements by the defendants in administrative proceedings about the anticompetitive effects of a proposed vertical merger in the industry seven years earlier. The defendants responded with an expert’s analysis of real-world data for prior vertical mergers in the industry that showed “no statistically significant effect on content prices.” The government offered no comparable analysis of data and its expert opinion and modeling predicting such increases failed to take into account Turner Broadcasting System’s post-litigation irrevocable offers of no-blackout arbitration agreements, which a government expert acknowledged would require a new model. Evidence also indicated that the industry had become dynamic in recent years with the emergence, for example, of Netflix and Hulu. In this evidentiary context, the government’s objections that the district court misunderstood and misapplied economic principles and clearly erred in rejecting the quantitative model are unpersuasive. Accordingly, we affirm.”
The Regulatory Mix Today: Appeals Court Upholds AT&T Time Warner Merger, California PUC Seeks Volunteers for Internet Performance Study, FCC OTMR Compliance Guide
California PUC Seeks Volunteers for Internet Performance Study
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced that it is seeking 500 volunteers to take part in the CPUC Home Internet Study, CalSPEED Home. Many consumers of broadband Internet service wonder whether they are getting the quality of service for which they are paying. California is the first state to undertake its own Internet testing to help answer this question. The CPUC will use data gathered from CalSPEED Home to provide critical information to state policymakers dealing with broadband issues such as universal service and the Digital Divide, in addition to providing money saving information to consumers. Volunteers will be asked to attach a small device to their home Internet router for a two-week period, during which speed and quality tests will be performed. The study will not monitor volunteers’ Internet use in any way, and volunteers will have access to their own testing results.
FCC OTMR Compliance Guide
The FCC released a Compliance Guide to help small entities comply with its new pole attachment rules, including the One Touch Make-Ready (OTMR) rules. The guide includes definitions, contractor selection/qualification requirements for survey and make-ready work, and OTMR-specific procedures such as surveys, utility notification, when an attacher may proceed with make-ready work, and timeline for the inspection process. The guide also reviews the changes to the non-OTMR rules, including new survey and make-ready deadlines, the self-help remedy, contractor selection rules, estimate procedures, overlashing, and complaints against incumbent providers. It also contains a detailed overview of the recordkeeping and reporting requirements associated with both OTMR and non-OTMR attachments.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.
Inteserra's 2019 Spring Seminar - "Translating Government Policies to Day-to-Day Telecom Operations" 4/2 and 4/3 in Maitland, FL.