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ATT v City of Portland
November 21, 2000
AT&T v. City of Portland; what is the significance of this case?
-AT&T Corp. v. City of Portland No. 99-35609 U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 216 F. 3d 871; 2000 U.S. App. Lexis 14383
-"Citing Pro-Competitive Benefits to Consumers, Commission Approves AT&T-TCI Merger." Report No. CS 99-2 FCC News *www.fcc.gov*
-Mosquera, Mary. "FCC Approves AT&T/TCI Merger." Technology News 17 February 1999 *www.techweb.com/*
-"AT&T/TCI Merger Wins FCC Approval." Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) 18 February 1999, Metro Edition, Pg. 4D
-"Cable groups flex muscles for fresh clash: U.S. industry nerves rattled by government pledge to examine AT&T/TCI merger plans." The Financial Times Limited (London) 7 Dec 1998, sec. The Americas
-Briefing The Denver Post 3 February 1999 2D ed., sec. Business Pg. C-02
-University of Washington, School of Law: Center for Law, Commerce & Technology. 28 June 2000 *www.law.washington.edu/lct/*
AT&T v. City of Portland exemplifies the current regulatory efforts of local government to compensate for the federal government's lack of proactive activity in the broadband market. The struggle between AT&T and the City of Portland began in June of 1998, when AT&T and TCI (Tele-Communications, Inc.) announced their intent to merge in 1999 (AT&T Corp. v. City of Portland). Under the terms of the merger, TCI became a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T. AT&T/TCI provided @Home (explained in the next paragraph), a service giving residential cable subscribers high speed, broadband access to the Internet. Many parties opposed the merger, arguing that, if approved, AT&T/TCI (through the @Home service) will have a substantial head start in the provision of high-speed Internet access and could develop a top position as a monopoly of broadband Internet access services to residential consumers (U. of Washington).
In December of 1998, the Portland and Multnomah County adopted the country's first mandatory access provision. AT&T rejected the mandatory access provision, resulting in a denial of its request for change in control of the TCI franchises in January of 1999. AT&T sued Portland and Multnomah County alleging that the denial of the franchise transfer was preempted by federal law, violated the First Amendment, the Commerce Clause, and the Contract Clause (AT&T Corp. v. City of Portland).
TCI offers an optional premium cable service called [email protected] in several localities, which provides residential cable subscribers high-speed access to the Internet. TCI purchases the right to distribute the @Home service from At Home Corporat
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