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Hi, this is Richard Burr. I enjoyed reading today's "tech bytes" on the CSE homepage. Believe me, I couldn't agree with you more about reforming the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Congress actually removed merger review authority from the FCC in the 1996 Telecommunications Act but amazingly, they have ignored the law and chosen to create new definitions of "public interest."
In fact I introduced H.R. 3186 to restore common sense to the process by which the federal government reviews telecommunications mergers. The FCC is duplicating the efforts that the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission already perform with more competence, thus adding considerable delay and expense to the whole process.
You're already well aware of the debacle where the FCC dragged SBC and Ameritech along for 17 months. Recently the FCC Chairman told the media he was targeting the proposed MCI WorldCom-Sprint merger even before the deal was formally announced!
These incidents are just two examples of why it is necessary to streamline the process. Congress actually removed merger review authority from the FCC in the 1996 Telecommunications Act but amazingly, they have ignored the law and chosen to create new definitions of "public interest."
I certainly appreciate CSE's attention to this issue -- not to mention the good work of CSE members in my home state of North Carolina and around the country. Please ask your folks to let their congressmen know they support reforming the dysfunctional bureaucracy known as the FCC.
U.S. Representative (NC-5)