The Federal Communications Commission, in Blawgletter's view, has done a not-very-good job of curbing abuses by Titans of Telecom — your Wizards of Wireless, your Imperators of the Internet, and — yes — your Caliphs of Cable.
But the FCC did okay in 2007, when the Commissioners voted to extend a rule that bars big cable outfits from denying their "must have" programming to competitors — stuff like regional sports.
The D.C. Circuit last Friday upheld the FCC's order, finding it neither arbitrary nor capricious. The majority noted recent changes in the multi-channel video programming distribution business, which includes satellite providers DISH and DirecTV as well as AT&T's U-Verse and Verizon's FiOS. But the panel deferred to the FCC's reading of the evidence, which suggested that cable companies could and would hurt competition by withholding programs that other MVPD providers couldn't compete effectively without. Cablevision Systems Corp. v. Federal Comm. Comm'n, No. 07-1425 (D.C. Cir. Mar. 12, 2010).
The FCC may make more trouble for the cable folks. See FCC Aims to Shut Cable Loophole for Local Sports.
As it did earlier. See D.C. Circuit Upholds Bar on Cable-Only Contracts; Curbing Monopoly.