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Title:An examination of how the FCC uses "voluntary commitments" from merging telecommunications companies to advance policy goals
Author(s):Shaffer, Gwen; Jordan, Scott
Subject(s):telecommunications policy
information policy
political economy of communication
broadband access
Abstract:This study examines the FCC’s historical use of “voluntary commitments” when approving telecommunications company mergers. Because complex factors such as market conditions, corporate lobbying, political climate and technological change dictate regulations, it is grounded in a political economic framework. Using a focused synthesis, the authors examined key policy issues, such as the political climate and power structures in place during various telecommunications company transactions. The study contrasts the FCC’s ability to extract commitments from merging companies with previous unsuccessful attempts to achieve similar goals through the established rulemaking process, with particular focus on the 2011 Comcast/NBC-Universal merger. The newly formed company agreed to a slew of voluntary commitments that advanced policies—related to streaming video, digital inclusion and online journalism—strongly opposed by industry during previous FCC attempts to impose them industry-wide.
Issue Date:2013-02
Citation Info:Shaffer, G., & Jordan, S. (2013). An examination of how the FCC uses “voluntary commitments” from merging telecommunications companies to advance policy goals. iConference 2013 Proceedings (pp. 15-26). doi:10.9776/13127
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed:is peer reviewed
Rights Information:Copyright © 2013 is held by the authors. Copyright permissions, when appropriate, must be obtained directly from the authors.
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-01-30

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