For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

David Vance (202) 736-5712 or

Supreme Court Defers to FCC Authority in Media Ownership Case But Leaves Door Open For Future FCC To Protect The Public Interest

WASHINGTON - Today, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Federal Communications Commission v. Prometheus Radio Project upholding the FCC’s 2017 Order to roll back several of its media ownership rules. The rules prohibit a single entity from owning too many newspaper, radio, and television stations within a local market. In upholding the FCC’s deregulation of media ownership rules, the Supreme Court found that the agency acted reasonably for the purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act, which guides agency decision making.

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:

“While we are disappointed in the outcome of the case, it falls in line with prior court decisions giving agencies deference under the Administrative Procedure Act and signals that the FCC in the future will have broad discretion to enact substantive media ownership rules.


Never Miss a Beat.

Get our best delivered to your inbox.

“We are confident that the FCC under the current administration will act quickly to develop strong media ownership rules in the public interest, collect, study, and analyze accurate ownership data, and promote ownership diversity. Unlike the FCC under the Trump administration, this FCC will not ignore the rule of law and its own policy objectives to appease media conglomerates pushing for more consolidation.”

To view this release online, click here.


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

Share This Article