Georgia Court To Comcast: Provide Phone Info On Nondiscriminatory Basis

A Georgia U.S. District Court has issued a preliminary injunction requiring Comcast to make its directory assistance listings data available to local provider LSSi.

The court concluded that there is a "substantial likelihood" that LSSi can prove that Comcast's decision to start providing that information through a third party [rather than directly], is prohibited discriminatory access.

Comcast, wearing its local exchange carrier hat, argued that it was still making the data--phone numbers and listing info--available on a nondiscriminatory basis to LSSi, simply doing so through third party, Targus, a competitor to LSSi.

LSSi aggregates names, addresses, and phone numbers from a variety of sources, including phone companies and uses it, for among other things, phone directories. According to LSSI attorneys, Targus has been trying to get the exclusive business of cable ops operating phone service.

After Comcast said it would no longer provide that info directly, but through Targus, LSSi filed suit April 18.

The court also concluded that LSSI could suffer irreparable harm if the injunction was not granted, and that on balance the potential injury to LSSi's business outweighs any damage the injunction might do to Comcast's business, both of which are legal tests that must be met.

"The defendant is enjoined from failing to provide directory assistance listing data directly to LSSi on a complete, accurate, timely, and nondiscriminatory basis," the court said.

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.