House E&C Launches Investigation into FCC Deliberations

House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Communications Subcommittee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) announced Thursday that they are launching an investigation into the FCC's decision-making process in the wake of President Obama's push for Title II reclassification of broadband access.

Calling it "White House meddling," but just the latest sign of "broken process," the legislators in a letter asked for a raft of documents from the FCC, citing their "longstanding concerns with the fairness, openness, and transparency of several of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) administrative and rulemaking processes under your leadership."

Also on their list of practices they want to look into is the FCC's use of delegated authority, in particular a Media Bureau decision to change policy related to broadcast sharing agreements. The FCC signaled that such agreements would get heightened scrutiny as potentially a way to skirt local ownership rules.

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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.