Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on Trump FCC Attempt to Greenlight Media Consolidation At Expense of Media Diversity

Today, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Prometheus v. Federal Communications Commission. The case addresses the question of whether the FCC properly concluded that deregulating media ownership rules would not harm its longstanding public interest goal of promoting media ownership by women and people of color. The FCC media ownership rules prohibit a single entity from owning too many newspaper, radio, and television entities within a local market.

In December, Common Cause filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to affirm the Third Circuit’s prior decision that the FCC did not adequately consider the effect of its rule changes on media ownership diversity.

Statement of Michael Copps, Former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Adviser

“Today, the Supreme Court heard why it should not allow the FCC to disregard its public interest mandate to promote race and gender diversity in media ownership. This case is a simple question of whether the FCC did its job, followed the objectives it set for itself, and provided a rational explanation for its decision making. We continue to be very confident in our position that the FCC failed to follow these basic principles to justify media deregulation at the expense of broadcast ownership opportunities for women and people of color.

“We urge the Supreme Court not to give the FCC a free pass to greenlight more media consolidation without adequate analysis on how ownership rule changes would impact media diversity. The FCC cannot ignore the rule of law and its own policy objectives to appease media conglomerates pushing for more consolidation.”