FCC Updates Foreign Ownership Compliance Rules

At the FCC’s open meeting on September 29, the agency adopted new policies for computing foreign ownership of broadcast companies. The Commission’s Report and Order on this subject deals with how companies assess compliance with the rules, which limit foreign ownership to 20% of a broadcast licensee and 25% of a holding company, unless there is a finding by the FCC that the public interest is not harmed by a greater foreign ownership interest.

Under the new rules, rather than assuming that there was a compliance issue because a company cannot prove that its foreign ownership was less than 25%, the FCC will now conclude that there is an issue only where a company, based on knowledge either that it has or should have, actually knows that there it has a foreign ownership compliance problem.

Tell us what you think about the FCC action and easing up on the calculation of foreign ownership with your comments below.

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