Supreme Court Rejects Cable-Ownership Case

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The Supreme Court Monday refused to review a lower-court decision that struck
down a federal limit on the size of cable companies.

Various consumer groups asked the Supreme Court to take the case and reverse
the lower court. Both the Department of Justice and AT&T
Corp., parent of cable operator AT&T Broadband, had urged the court to reject the case.

In March, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit voided a
Federal Communications Commission rule that capped a cable operator at 30
percent of the pay TV market. The court said the cap violated the First
Amendment.

The DOJ told the high court review was unnecessary because the FCC had
launched a rulemaking to consider a new cap. Justice said that although the 30
percent cap was eliminated, the lower court did not prohibit the FCC from
establishing a new cap that could survive judicial review

The National Association of Broadcasters also urged the Supreme Court to take
the case, claiming that the cable industry should not use the First Amendment as
a shield against economic regulation.

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