Free State: Video Marketplace Is Clearly Competitive

The Free State Foundation tells the FCC that there is "clear and convincing" evidence that the video marketplace is competitive, period, and the FCC needs to regulate, or more to the point, deregulate, accordingly.

That came in comments on the FCC's upcoming video competition report. The commission has to periodically assess the state of video competition and sought comment on whether the video marketplace is competitive.

Recent reports under Democratic chairs have declined to reach any conclusions one way or another, instead providing a snapshot of the marketplace. The FCC under new chairman Pai is likely to change that.

Related: CWA to FCC: Wireless is No Substitute for Wired 'Net

Free State, a free market think tank, said that in the face of that reality, the FCC should not try to apply legacy rules to new services and devices and apps, but should clear out some of the video regulatory underbrush and sunset video navigation device rules.

Among the proceedings the FCC should drop, says Free State, is applying program access rules to over-the-top providers.

And where restrictions on videos are in statute, rather than rules that it can repeal, the FCC should establish a rebuttable presumption of market competition in case-by-case reviews of program access and carriage complaints. "[C]lear and convincing evidence of consumer harm tied to market power abuse," would have to be shown for the FCC to take action in those cases.

Free State also says that the FCC should declare the national MVPD services marketplace and the video device marketplace "fully competitive."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.