FCC Streamlines Foreign Ownership Procedures


Money TreeIn a unanimous decision, the FCC on Thursday (Sept. 29) gave its blessing to new rules that will extend to broadcast licensees the same streamlined rules and procedures that common carrier wireless licensees use to seek approval for foreign ownership — with appropriate broadcast-specific modifications.

The FCC also reformed the methodology for publicly traded broadcast and common carrier licensees and controlling U.S. parents to assess compliance with the statutory foreign ownership limits.

With their 5-0 vote, a standardized filing and review process for broadcast licensees’ requests for approval of foreign ownership comes to fruition.

“This will provide the broadcast sector with a clearer path for investment,” the commission said in a statement outlining the new rules. “The reformed methodology for ascertaining foreign ownership of publicly traded licensees and controlling U.S. parents will eliminate the need to perform surveys or random samples of shareholders, which the Commission finds are impractical for public companies in today’s marketplace.”

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Adam R Jacobson is a veteran radio industry journalist and advertising industry analyst with general, multicultural and Hispanic market expertise. From 1996 to 2006 he served as an editor at Radio & Records.