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Apr 16, 2014

AT&T may sit out auction if FCC spectrum plan is adopted

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – AT&T Inc (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) might sit out a major U.S. auction of airwaves if regulators adopt rules that reserve some of the spectrum for smaller rivals, the No. 2 wireless company said in a filing released on Wednesday.

The Federal Communications Commission recently drafted some of the rules for the highly complex auction scheduled for 2015. The auction would reshuffle the ownership of valuable frequencies between TV stations and wireless carriers clamoring for faster speeds and better services for their devices.

Apr 10, 2014

U.S. brings first criminal fraud charges in phone subsidy program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three men have been indicted on charges that they bilked $32 million from a federal program that subsidizes cell phones for poor Americans, the first such criminal fraud prosecution in the Lifeline program, the Justice Department said on Thursday.

Thomas Biddix, of Melbourne, Florida; Kevin Brian Cox, of Arlington, Tennessee; and Leonard Solt, of Land O’Lakes, Florida face charges of defrauding Lifeline, the program that provides discounted or free telephone services for low-income people.

Apr 9, 2014

U.S. lawmakers press Comcast on Time Warner Cable merger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s chairman on Wednesday urged Comcast Corp to extend its commitment to Internet neutrality beyond 2018 as the cable company’s executive reassured lawmakers the proposed merger with Time Warner Cable Inc would not hurt consumers.

Executives from the two largest U.S. cable providers faced the first public hearing about their proposed $45.2 billion deal, reiterating that the merger would not eliminate any choices for consumers as the two carriers do not directly compete with each other anywhere in the country.

Apr 9, 2014

Comcast, Time Warner to face lawmakers on merger plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Executives from Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Time Warner Cable Inc (TWC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are expected to defend their plan to merge as they go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, the first hearing since the $45.2-billion deal was announced in February.

The proposed merger has stirred the ire of public interest groups who worry that a bigger Comcast would have too much clout over fast-growing broadband, free rein to raise cable rates and more power over what Americans watch on television.

Apr 8, 2014

Comcast defends Time Warner Cable deal as U.S. review kicks off

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Comcast Corp sought to rebut critics of its planned $45.2 billion (27 billion pounds) takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc, arguing that newcomers like Google Inc and Apple Inc would ensure competition in both Internet and video markets.

In a 175-page filing with the Federal Communications Commission that kicks off the FCC’s review of the deal, Comcast argues that combined with Time Warner Cable, it will compete with an “array of sophisticated companies with national or even global footprints” such as Google, Netflix Inc or Verizon that have gained ground against Comcast.

Apr 8, 2014

Comcast makes case for Time Warner Cable deal to U.S. regulators

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters) – Comcast Corp’s
merger with Time Warner Cable Inc would not
deprive consumers of TV or broadband choices and would help the
two companies compete against newcomers including Google Inc
and Apple Inc in the video market, Comcast
told U.S. regulators on Tuesday.

Comcast’s 175-page filing with the Federal Communications
Commission formally launches the regulatory review of the
proposed $45.2 billion merger between the No. 1 and No. 2 cable
operators. The U.S. Department of Justice will conduct the
antitrust review and the FCC will examine whether the deal is in
the public interest.

Apr 3, 2014

Obama’s NSA overhaul may require phone carriers to store more data

WASHINGTON, April 3 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s
plan for overhauling the National Security Agency’s phone
surveillance program could force carriers to collect and store
customer data that they are not now legally obliged to keep,
according to U.S. officials.

One complication arises from the popularity of flat-rate or
unlimited calling plans, which are used by the vast majority of

Apr 2, 2014

ICANN chief: Russia, China will not hijack Internet oversight

WASHINGTON, April 2 (Reuters) – The head of a nonprofit that
manages the infrastructure of the Internet defended on Wednesday
the U.S. government’s move to cede oversight of the body, and
downplayed concerns that Russia, China or other countries could
exert control and restrict the web’s openness.

The Obama administration last month said it would relinquish
oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
Numbers, or ICANN, which controls the “address book” of the
Internet, the master database of top-level domain names such as
.com and .net.

Apr 2, 2014

U.S., ICANN see no rush to transfer oversight of Internet addresses

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Officials from the U.S. government and the private non-profit group that manages the Internet’s “address book” promised on Wednesday to not rush a Commerce Department plan to relinquish oversight over Internet infrastructure management.

The United States said in March it would give up a direct oversight role, which it says has long been symbolic, over the work of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.

Mar 31, 2014

U.S. regulators restrict TV stations’ joint ad sales

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. communications regulators voted along party lines on Monday to prohibit broadcast companies from controlling two or more TV stations in a market by sharing advertising sales staff as the agency began its new review of media ownership rules.

Two Democratic members of the Federal Communications Commission sided with Chairman Tom Wheeler on new rules that would count a broadcaster as having an ownership interest in any station where that owner sells 15 percent or more of weekly advertising time.

    • About Alina

      "Alina Selyukh is covering campaign finance this year. Starting as a journalist in her native town of Samara in Russia, she spent five years in Lincoln, Nebraska before moving to the East Coast to work for Reuters. A former intern and graduate trainee, Selyukh has covered energy, IPOs, healthcare policy and FDA."
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