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Argued September 7, 2001

On Petitions for Review of an Order of the Federal Communications Commission

Before the court are five consolidated petitions to review the Federal Communications Commission’s 1998 decision not to repeal or to modify the national television station ownership rule, 47 C.F.R. s 73.3555(e), and the cable/broadcast cross-ownership rule, 47 C.F.R. s 76.501(a). Petitioners challenge the decision as a violation of both the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. s 551 et seq., and s 202(h) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56. They also contend that both rules violate the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The network petitioners -Fox Television Stations, Inc., National Broadcasting Company, Inc., Viacom Inc., and CBS Broadcasting Inc. -address the national television ownership rule, while petitioner Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P. addresses the cable/broadcast cross-ownership rule. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the Network Affiliated Stations Alliance (NASA), the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), and the United Church of Christ, Office of Communications, Inc. (UCC) have intervened and filed briefs in support of the Commission’s decision to retain the national television station ownership rule.

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