March 16, 2001
Separate Statement of Commissioner Susan Ness
|In Re: Applications for Consent to the Transfer of Control of Licenses and Section 214 Authorizations from MediaOne Group, Inc., Transferor, to AT&T Corp., Transferee|
I write separately to emphasize that our action today is a suspension, not an elimination, of the conditions originally imposed upon AT&T in this proceeding. I have been assured that this Commission will act expeditiously to analyze and implement the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals' recent decision finding constitutionally suspect the cable horizontal ownership rules, Time Warner Entertainment Co. v. FCC, Slip Op. No. 94-1035 (March 2, 2001), both with respect to that ruling's effect on the conditions imposed in this proceeding and on the horizontal ownership rules directly at issue in that decision.
I am deeply concerned about increasing levels of concentration across the media industries. In the specific context of cable operators, the relative dearth of non-vertically integrated cable television programmers and the difficulty such programmers have in reaching wide audiences is at the core of our concern in this and related proceedings. The Commission should remain vigilant in promoting diversity in the media marketplace.