Category Archives: Media Ownership

Mergers, diversity of ownership, and multiple perspectives.

Why The Death Of Comcast-Time Warner Merger Won’t Help Consumers

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by Peter Lee  San Francisco Chronicle  April 29 2015

Credit to the Federal Communications Commission for doing its job — about 20 years too late.

Due to opposition from the FCC and U.S. Department of Justice, Comcast dropped its proposed $45 billion bid to purchase Time Warner Cable on Friday, preventing two of the nation’s least-popular companies from becoming one enormously unpopular mega-company.

For consumers, the failed merger represents something of a muted victory. The FCC’s record on protecting consumers has been beyond abysmal since the federal government deregulated the telecom industry in the mid-1990s, but Friday’s decision shows the agency is still, apparently, willing to draw the line somewhere.

Continue reading Why The Death Of Comcast-Time Warner Merger Won’t Help Consumers

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Media Cross-Ownership Rules Upheld by FCC

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Prometheus vs. FCC, the decade-old lawsuit that sought to prevent the loosening of the cross-ownership rules that prevented one entity from owning too many newspapers and broadcast outlets in the same town, returned to court as the FCC wrangled with the DC Courts about diversity surveys called Quadrennial Reviews that the agency hasn’t done and debated whether the increasingly dated rules needed to be strengthened, loosened or overhauled entirely. Media Alliance is a plaintiff in the case. Continue reading Media Cross-Ownership Rules Upheld by FCC

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These Four California Democrats Can Break Privacy

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By Tracy Rosenberg. Originally published on Medium.

Nowadays, do 94% of Americans agree on anything?

It sure doesn’t seem like it, but in fact there are a few things that we aren’t polarized about. One of these things is wanting tech companies to get our permission before they share our personal information.

Bowing to overwhelming consensus, California’s legislature enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in 2018, with an effective date of January 1, 2020.

But there’s something else that 94% of the population would also like. They would like to be able to take a tech company to court if that company violates their privacy rights.

Makes sense. It doesn’t do much good if you can ask a company to disclose who they are sharing your personal information with but they can refuse to tell you. It doesn’t do much good if you can ask a company not to sell your data and they can ignore you.

But you don’t have to take it from me. California’s Attorney General says the same thing.

In a letter to the Legislature, California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra said “The CCPA does not include a private right of action that would allow consumers to seek legal remedies for themselves to protect their privacy … I urge you to provide consumers with a private right of action under the CCPA. … If we fail to address these issues, it is the people of California who stand to lose.”

The AG walked his talk and sponsored a bill, Senate Bill 561, to let you sue a company that violates your privacy rights under the new law. But rumor has it that a small group of state senators on the CA Senate Appropriations committee haven’t pledged to support SB 561 and may let it die on the vine in two weeks.

The California Senate Appropriations committee is just six people, 4 Democrats and 2 Republicans. Since Democrats have the overwhelming majority, as they do throughout California’s legislature, what it comes down to is that these four CA Democrats might steal your right to sue tech companies when they sell your personal information without your consent.

This can’t and shouldn’t happen. But the person who cares most about your rights is …. you.

Call committee chair Anthony Portantino today. (916) 651–4025.

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The Comcast-Time Warner Deal is Officially Off

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For Immediate Release: April 24th, 2015

OAKLAND — Comcast announced today that the proposed merger with Time Warner is officially off, and local and national civil rights organizations couldn’t be happier.

This announcement comes after months of pressure from diverse groups representing Latino and Black communities, calling the proposed merger disastrous for low-income consumers. Members and partners of the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net), representing more than 175 grassroots organizations, have been actively organizing to ensure the merger did not get approved. Continue reading The Comcast-Time Warner Deal is Officially Off

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Proposed CPUC Rejection of Comcast/TWC Adds Wrinkle to California’s Review of Deal

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Communications Daily – April 14 2015

California Public Utilities Commissioner Mike Florio’s filing Friday suggesting the CPUC reject the Comcast/Time Warner Cable (TWC) deal further unsettles the commission’s review of the merger, industry observers in the state told us. Florio said in his alternate proposed decision rejecting the deal (see 1504100049) that Administrative Law Judge Karl Bemesderfer’s proposed decision approving Comcast/ TWC with 25 conditions (see 1502170059) can’t effectively mitigate “adverse consequences” posed by the merger. Comcast “does not have a good record of abiding” by CPUC-imposed conditions and the company has contested all 25 conditions in the Bemesderfer draft, Florio said. Continue reading Proposed CPUC Rejection of Comcast/TWC Adds Wrinkle to California’s Review of Deal

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