September 20, 2017

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FCC Relaxes Media Ownership Rules

FCC Relaxes Media Ownership Rules

In a close and controversial 3-2 decision, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to relax media ownership rules. The FCC has eliminated a ban that disallows cross-ownership of media. The elimination of the ban makes it permissible for newspapers to own television or radio stations within the same media market. There are two restrictions on potential purchases: one, if a TV station is being purchased, it cannot be one of the four largest in the area; and two, after the merger is completed, there must still be at least eight independent media voices in the market.
Supporters of the move say that allowing cross-ownership is necessary in an environment where traditional media is being challenged by online content and other unregulated information sources, such as cable and satellite television.
Critics of the relaxed ownership rules counter that allowing further consolidation within media markets will reduce the number of minority-owned media properties and reduce consumer choice.
Related articles:
[FCC Loosens Ownership Rules](http://www.forbes.com/2007/12/18/media-fcc-martin-biz-media-cx_lh_bw_1218fcc.html?partner=media_newsletter) – Forbes.com
[FCC Approves Media Consolidation Plan on 3-2 Party Line Vote](http://consumerist.com/consumer/news-from-the-swamp/fcc-approves-media-consolidation-plan-on-3+2-party-line-vote-335355.php) – Consumerist.com

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