FCC Won't Concede That Mobile Market is Competitive

Because that would torpedo its demands for regulatory power


Late last month, the FCC issued its 16th Mobile Competition Report, a 400-page document that analyzes in detail the competitive landscape for mobile carriers and the ecosystem that surrounds them.

Congress charged the FCC with answering one simple question in the annual report: Is there "effective competition" in the mobile ecosystem? …

Its refusal to find "effective competition" in the mobile ecosystem—along with related non-conclusions on the pace of deployment of all broadband services—was cynically designed to leave the chairman a free hand to activate emergency powers. These powers include everything from net neutrality to extracting conditions on a variety of spectrum transactions and mergers.