Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC

Prometheus Radio Project V. FCC

Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC

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Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC, was a series of cases heard and adjudicated by the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals from 2003 to 2010. A civilian activist group, Prometheus Radio Project, challenged new media ownership rules put forth by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) during its 2002 Biennial Review. The majority ruled 2-1 to throw out the attempt by the FCC to raise the limits of cross-ownership of media, and determined that a "diversity index" used by the FCC to weigh cross-ownership (of radio, television and newspapers) employed several "irrational assumptions and inconsistencies." Many elements were remanded to be fixed or better explained to assure they were in the public interest. The dissenting opinion by Chief Judge Anthony Joseph Scirica contested that the majority were simply employing their own assumptions, and that the FCC should be allowed to use its mandated expertise and make adjustments as necessary. The Court also ruled that section 202 (h) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 did not contain a “deregulatory presumption,” and that the burden rested with those seeking to modify or eliminate the existing rules.

The FCC was ordered to reconfigure how it justifies raising ownership limits, and after the Supreme Court later turned down an appeal, the decision stood. <ref...
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