FCC Releases Foreign Ownership NPRM
The Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to simplify the foreign ownership approval process for broadcast licensees by extending the streamlined rules and procedures developed for foreign ownership reviews for common carrier and certain aeronautical licensees under section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934 to the broadcast context. The Commission believes that adopting a standardized filing and review process for broadcast licensees’ requests to exceed the 25 percent foreign ownership benchmark will provide the broadcast sector with greater transparency, more predictability, and will reduce regulatory burdens and costs.
The proposed changes would allow a broadcast licensee to request Commission approval for its U.S. controlling parent to have up to and including 100 percent foreign ownership and for any non-controlling named foreign investor to increase its interest in the U.S. parent up to and including a non-controlling interest of 49.99 percent at some time in the future. The Commission also seeks comment on whether and how to revise the methodology a licensee should use to assess its compliance with the 25 percent foreign ownership benchmark in section 310(b)(4) to reduce regulatory burdens on applicants and licensees. With respect to each proposal or proposed alternative, commenters should discuss, and, if possible, quantify, the likely costs and benefits of the proposal or proposed alternative.
Comments Due: 45 days after publication in the Federal Register
Reply Comments Due: 75 days after publication in the Federal Register
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