Economic Liberties & Open Markets Institute Encourage FCC to Consider Importance of Market Structure in its Communications Marketplace Report

May 27, 2020 Press Release

For Immediate Release: May 27, 2020

Press Contact: Robyn Shapiro, rshapiro@economicliberties.us

Economic Liberties & Open Markets Institute Encourage FCC to Consider Importance of Market Structure in its Communications Marketplace Report

Washington, D.C. — The American Economic Liberties Project and the Open Markets Institute today submitted a comment to the Federal Communications Commission, encouraging the agency to document the importance of decentralized markets, measure and describe market structures, and maintain local media ownership rules in its 2020 Communications Marketplace Report.

“The FCC has an enormous responsibility — and ability — to foster competition and facilitate the free exchange of information and ideas fundamental to a democratic society,” said Economic Liberties Policy Analyst Matt Buck. “The FCC should use its power to make communications markets work for the whole country — not just the corporate giants that dominate these markets.”

With telecommunications markets growing increasingly concentrated, Economic Liberties’ comment emphasizes the FCC’s opportunity and obligation to study market structures and business practices throughout concentrated communications and media markets with a lens toward the inherent value of decentralized markets. Today, a handful of corporations provide essential services like broadband, radio, and wireless access thereby controlling access to information, communications, and entertainment for millions of Americans. By documenting the dangerous implications of this concentration of power, the FCC can lay essential groundwork for policymaking that responds to this problem.

The comment also explains why the FCC ought to carefully consider evidence that the growth of digital audio and video services does not supplant the need for stringent local media ownership rules. New types of digital services do not always operate in the same market as traditional broadcasters and newspapers, and they should not be regulated as though they do. To the extent that there is a gap in regulatory frameworks, policymakers should strive to create a level playing field by regulating big tech to foster decentralization, not by removing public rules on local media.

Economic Liberties concludes by urging the FCC to evaluate its legal tools and emphasize to Congress if it needs additional ones to structure markets democratically.

Read the comment here.

Learn more about Economic Liberties here.

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Economic Liberties works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. AELP believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.