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Ferree: Congress Should Set Ownership Limits

Ferree: Congress Should Set Ownership Limits

Outgoing FCC Media Bureau Chief Ken Ferree says Congress, not the commission, may be in the best position to give finality to media ownership restrictions.
Ferree told Reuters as he left the commission last Friday that congressional action would give the industry certainty on the issue.
Commissioners passed rules that eased ownership limits in 2003 but those were put on hold by a federal appeals court last year; the court told the agency it needed better justification for the numerical limits. Many of the new ownership rules are subject to appeals pending before the Supreme Court.
“I think the defenders of the status quo are finding fewer and fewer places to turn,” Ferree told Reuters. “Congress or the commission in the next year are going to have to come up with a way to get us to the end in some reasonable time frame.”