What does the FCC do? Discuss it’s current position on media consolidation.

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The Federal Communications Commission was formed on June 19, 1934 with the passing of the Communications Act. According to the FCC website, the FCC is "an independent U.S. government agency overseen by Congress" that "regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable." The FCC "is the...

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The Federal Communications Commission was formed on June 19, 1934 with the passing of the Communications Act. According to the FCC website, the FCC is "an independent U.S. government agency overseen by Congress" that "regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable." The FCC "is the federal agency responsible for implementing and enforcing America’s communications law and regulations."

For evidence of the FCC in your everyday life, you can consider the regulation of decency on TV/Radio (i.e. curse words/nudity). The FCC can impose fines on radio/TV stations for these violations. The FCC regulates 911 service and manages the national "Do Not Call" list. These are just a few examples of how the FCC impacts the average person's life.

In November 2017, the FCC retracted 70's-era regulations, "in a move that will make it far easier for media outlets to be bought and sold — potentially leading to more newspapers, radio stations and television broadcasters being owned by a small handful of companies" (Seattle Times). The repealed rules reversed regulation that previously disallowed a company from owning both a TV station and a newspaper, as well as regulations that prevented TV station mergers that didn't meet certain requirements. "Critics of the FCC repeal effort argue that the decision will lead to the concentration of power in the hands of a dwindling number of media titans" (Seattle Times).

In short, the FCC position on media consolidation is continuing to relax. According to current FCC President Ajit Pai, the FCC rules were "stale" and need to be dragged into the digital age.

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