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US: Judge tells FCC to re-educate itself on antitrust law

 |  May 29, 2013

Reports say a US appeals court judge has slammed the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday, telling the regulator that it should rethink its understanding of antitrust law after a three-judge panel reversed a 2012 decision made by the communications regulator. The panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed an earlier FCC ruling against Comcast that stated the cable company deliberately packaged the Tennis Channel with a more expensive and less watched viewing tier than the Comcast-owned Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network. The FCC ruled that Comcast improperly discriminated against the Tennis Channel in violation of the 1992 Cable Act. But Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the appeals court slammed the FCC for its ruling in a 15-page concurrence – longer than the 11-page ruling. According to Judge Kavanaugh, the FCC “badly misread the statute” and failed to determine that Comcast did, in fact, discriminate against the Tennis Channel in addition to unreasonably restraining competition through its market power. A grammatical error can be blamed for the FCC’s mistake, said Kavanaugh.

Full Content: Thomson Reuters

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