Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

FCC Extortion Racket

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

By Kendall J from The Crucible & Column,cross-posted by MetaBlog

From a February 26, 200 Wall Street Journal Article, "FCC May Try to Scrub Kids' TV"

Last week, Spanish-language broadcaster
Univision Communications
Inc. agreed in principle to pay an unusually steep $24 million fine for violating the Children's Television Act, which requires broadcasters to show three hours of educational programming a week, Federal Communications Commission officials said. In exchange, the FCC will approve Univision's sale to a consortium of private-equity groups for $12.3 billion. Univision declined to comment on the proposed consent


It's the largest fine assessed by the FCC against a company, far exceeding the $9 million fine slapped on Qwest Communications in 2004 for violating FCC rules and the $3.6 million indecency fine proposed against CBS and its affiliates last year for an episode of the crime drama "Without a Trace."

There is one word describing this action: extortion. It is illustrative of the type of arbitrary power that so-called government regulatory agencies exert and that is prominent in most instances where private-sector companies need to seek approvals for actions such as mergers. There is no statutory relationship between the Children's Television Act and the FCC's power to sign off on mergers in the communications industry. But it makes the connection by arbitrary fiat.

And the action is arbitrary. Does one know what particular statute will be used to hold up merger approval? Your guess is as good as the guess of the executives at Univision. As the article states, "The FCC has rarely taken action against broadcasters for not meeting educational requirements for kids' television." Now, however, it sees fit to levy it's largest fine in history over a statute that it has rarely enforced. That is the very definition of arbitrary.

View the full article

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...