News

FCC Nominee Holds Telecom Stock

5/14/2001 11:35 AM Eastern

Kathleen Abernathy, President Bush's pick to fill a Republican seat at the
Federal Communications Commission, owns stock worth thousands of dollars in
telecommunications firms regulated by the agency.

According to her federal financial disclosure, Abernathy owns
telecommunications stocks worth between $450,000 and $1 million. The report did
not say whether she plans to sell the shares or decline to participate in FCC
decisions affecting the companies.

Abernathy's disclosure said she owns between $101,000 and $250,000 in Qwest
Communications International Inc. stock; between $250,001 and $500,000 in
Verizon Communications stock; and between $100,001 and $250,000 in Vodafone
Group PLC stock.

Qwest and Verizon are regional Baby Bell companies heavily regulated by the
FCC. Both firms are looking for agency approval to enter the long-distance
business.

Vodafone, a London-based wireless carrier subject to FCC spectrum-ownership
limitations, is a 45 percent owner of Verizon Wireless.

Abernathy, a lawyer and telecommunications consultant, is scheduled to appear
before the Senate Commerce Committee Thursday for her confirmation hearing along
with Bush's other FCC picks, Republican Kevin Martin and Democrat Mike
Copps.

Neither Martin nor Copps reported direct ownership of media or
telecommunications stocks outside of mutual and pension funds in their financial
disclosures submitted to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

FCC chairman Michael Powell is also scheduled to testify Thursday on his
reappointment to a second five-year term. An OGE spokeswoman said she had not
received Powell's financial disclosure.

Commission officials were unavailable late Monday to respond to questions on
FCC rules in connection with Abernathy's telecommunications-stock
holdings.

Want to read more stories like this?
Get our Free Newsletter Here!
October