The Antitrust Review of the Americas 2018

United States: Telecoms

07 September 2017

With respect to the regulation of telecommunications competition policy, 2017 is proving that elections have consequences. Confirmation of Ajit Pai as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has caused a heel turn on a number of initiatives of his predecessor, Chairman Tom Wheeler. To that end, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to eliminate the current internet conduct standard and seeking comment regarding whether the FCC should repeal the bright-line issues adopted in the Open Internet Order. The FCC has also taken steps to repeal restrictions on media ownership, while suggesting that further liberalisation is forthcoming. A less restrictive approach to regulation foretells a more prominent role for antitrust in competition law in this vital sector of the economy.

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