Retrans battles are known for their gamesmanship, but Nexstar’s characterization of some of the Hill pushback on the ongoing retrans impasse with AT&T’s DirecTV drew the ire of one local paper, some MVPD fans, and, ultimately, some corrections.
A Tuesday afternoon panel of the House Judiciary Committee focused on whether it’s time for Congress to rein in these companies, which are among the largest on Earth by several measures. Central to that case is whether their business practices run afoul of century-old laws originally designed to combat railroad and oil monopolies.
“We are concerned that the FTC has failed to impose strict structural reforms and managerial accountability that would put an end to Facebook’s privacy invasions,” Sens. Ed Markey, Richard Blumenthal and Josh Hawley write.
The House Antitrust Subcommittee is holding the second of its two Big Tech hearings this week, hearing from the FAAG in FAANG, lacking only Netflix among the witness list and definitely meeting the criteria for the hearing’s title.
The FCC and Public Knowledge veteran succeeds the retiring Gene Kimmelman as head of the public interest group.
While a $5 billion fine from the FTC, which Facebook has been expecting, is by far the largest the agency has levied on a technology company, the real worries for Facebook — and its investors and the companies that use it to advertise on its service — are the other restrictions and government oversight that might come with it.
The American Television Alliance (ATVA) is using the Nextar/DirecTV retrans impasse to pitch Congress on renewing STELAR, the satellite license law that also includes requiring the FCC to enforce good faith negotiations in retrans disputes.
At its July 2019 Open Meeting this week, the FCC voted to make several changes to its Children’s Television Programming rules. It released its final order adopting the changes Friday afternoon. Although characterized by Commissioner O’Rielly as “modest” changes, the revised rules are likely to alter television broadcasters’ compliance efforts in several significant respects, including the time at which the programming is aired, the type of programming that qualifies as educational and how a broadcaster demonstrates compliance with the revised rules.
AT&T has sued Max Retrans, a consultant that works with TV stations negotiating with distributors, claiming it used confidential data to get higher fees for its clients. In U.S. Court in St. Louis, AT&T said it is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, including inflated retransmission consent fees, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.