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Posted by Amy Gross on 1/14/20 11:42 AM

 

FCC front view-1-1FCC HUB Reporting Deadlines 

The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued guidance to rate-of-return Connect America Fund recipients regarding their obligation to report geo-located broadband information and make deployment certifications to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC).   Specifically, those carriers receiving Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF-BLS) that did not have High Cost Universal Service Broadband portal (HUBB) reporting obligations prior to the the FCC’s 2018 order, will be required to submit geo-located broadband deployment information in the HUBB by March 1, 2021 for all locations to which broadband service of 25/3 Mbps or greater has been deployed since May 25, 2016.   

 

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The Regulatory Mix Today:  FCC HUB Reporting Deadlines, FCC Truth-in-Billing Rules Comment Deadline,  FTC/DOJ Draft Merger Guidelines Released

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FCC Truth-In-Billing Rules Comment Deadline 

The FCC announced the date for filing comments to refresh the record in its proceeding seeking to modernize and strengthen the FCC’s truth-in-billing rules.  Specifically, the Bureau sought additional comment on proposals to extend the truth-in-billing rules to providers of interconnected VoIP services and to require carriers to separate government-mandated charges from other charges on consumers’ telephone bills.  Comments are due March 12, 2020; reply comments are due March 13, 2020. Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see Briefings dated 1/13/20 and 12/17/19.

 

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FTC-2-3FTC/DOJ Draft Merger Guidelines Released 

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division seek public comment on draft 2020 Vertical Merger Guidelines. Comments will be accepted for the next 30 days.  The guidelines describe how the federal antitrust agencies review vertical mergers to evaluate whether the mergers violate antitrust law. (Vertical mergers combine two or more companies that operate at different levels in the same supply chain.) 

The draft guidelines adopt the principles and analytical frameworks in the agencies’ Horizontal Merger Guidelines, including market definition, the analytic framework for evaluating entry considerations, the treatment of the acquisition of a failing firm or its assets, and the acquisition of a partial ownership interest. The draft guidelines: 

  • describe potential anticompetitive effects resulting from vertical mergers, which may include both unilateral and coordinated effects; 
  • identify foreclosure and raising rivals’ costs and access to competitively sensitive information as potential elements of antitrust harm under unilateral effects; 
  • describe an analytic framework for analyzing potential anticompetitive effects of foreclosure and raising rivals’ costs; 
  • discuss how the elimination of double marginalization may mitigate or completely neutralize the potential anticompetitive effects of vertical mergers; 
  • discuss cognizable merger efficiencies that are specific to vertical mergers; provide a number of examples to provide more clarity about the agencies’ analytical methods in evaluating vertical mergers. 

The agencies will review and consider the public comments before issuing final Vertical Merger Guidelines

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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.

 

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Topics: Connect America Fund, Interconnected VoIP, Local Number Portability Best Practices, High Cost Universal Service Broadband portal, HUBB, FCC Truth-In-Billing Rules, 2020 Vertical Merger Guidelines

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