Two years ago the FCC announced its intention to fine a Chinese electronics maker $34.9 million and a Florida man $48,000 for respectively selling and using illegal cell-phone jammers. Those fines have finally been made official, without either of the offending parties having bothered to mount a formal defense of their actions.
In a move that’s already being criticized as “illusive” by some, the European Commission has announced a plan to change how it regulates digital markets within the EU. The central theme of the announced changes to the Digital Single Market Strategy (DSMS) centers on what the EC calls Audiovisual Media Services, which includes services such as NetFlix.
Prometheus Court Vacates FCC’s JSA Ban; Asks FCC for New Ownership Rules by Year-End (Communications Law Center)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a decision vacating the FCC rule effectively banning television Joint Sales Agreements (“JSAs”) and threatened to throw out all of the FCC’s remaining broadcast ownership rules if the FCC does not complete its required “quadrennial” review of those rules by the end of 2016.
House Appropriations Bill Would Delay Set-Top Proposal (Broadcasting & Cable)
Republican lawmakers continue to try and use the appropriations process to block FCC Open Internet rules and further FCC process reforms that Democrats don’t support, now with the addition of delaying the FCC’s set-top box proceeding. The House Appropriations Committee has marked up its 2017 Financial Services and Government Appropriations Bill.
FTC Chair Ramirez Wants Broadband Privacy Authority (Broadcasting & Cable)
FTC chair Edith Ramirez wants some authority over broadband privacy, though she is not opposed to sharing the wealth. The FCC deeded itself authority over protecting the privacy of broadband users’ info when it reclassified ISPs as common carriers under new net neutrality rules, but Ramirez wants Congress to strike the common carrier exemption.
The TV industry will unravel faster than you think (Medium- Commentary)
TV executives aren’t dumb. Several have commented that “over the top” (OTT) programming is changing the industry. But, they believe (mistakenly) that, when OTT is mainstream, they will implement their own OTT strategy and everything will be fine. The network effects that have bolstered the TV networks of old will begin to unravel in the next 5–10 years.
The European Union wants to increase Europe’s filmmaking, and it is going after streaming services like Netflix and Amazon to do it. In a proposal updating Europe’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive, the EC outlined plans to get Netflix, Amazon and other video on-demand services to increase their investment in European films and TV shows.
Thanks to monster hits like Serial and This American Life, podcasting has had a bit of a renaissance in the past year, and it’s also fueling National Public Radio’s digital revenue. Over the past year, NPR says it has more than doubled its podcast revenue, and the public media icon expects to see equally robust growth in 2016.
AT&T Wants Yahoo’s Internet Business (Bloomberg)
AT&T has made a bid for Yahoo, and is a contender to acquire the company’s core internet business. The telecom giant had previously decided against making an offer. AT&T kept one foot in the process through its stake in digital advertising business YP Holdings LLC., which had proposed a merger with a subsidiary spun out of Yahoo’s core business.
FCC TAKES NEXT STEPS IN EXPANDING RURAL BROADBAND ACCESS (Telecompetitor)
Continuing its push to expand access to broadband in rural areas, the FCC took important steps toward investing an additional $2 billion in rural networks over the next decade. The item adopted by the Commission establishes rules of the road for an auction that will harness market forces to expand broadband in targeted rural areas.
COMCAST LIMITS DATA CAP OVERAGE FEES TO $200 A MONTH (ARS Technica)
Comcast customers who face data caps will not be able to rack up more than $200 worth of overage charges in a month. Comcast will continue to charge an extra $10 for each 50GB allotted to customers beyond the standard data plan. But prior to this change, there was apparently no limit on how many times per month a customer could be charged.
Why candidates’ social media use may tell us more than polls (Columbia Journalism Review)
Social media data—a forever-changing landscape of opinions and content, much of which is visual —is considered too murky to be taken seriously for any kind of analytics. Posts are spiced with slang and popular lingo that makes systematic analysis almost impossible. Yet this liveliness is arguably the essence and perhaps the advantage of social media.
Twitter has curtailed product development on its “Buy” button and product pages and shifted its commerce team into other divisions within the company. Members of Twitter’s roughly 25-person commerce team have left the company, and those who remain now largely work on two separate product teams: customer service and dynamic product ads.