Senator Hollings to the Rescue

The Nation, June 17, 2002 | Go to article overview

Senator Hollings to the Rescue


* Jeff Chester writes: Public interest advocates claim a victory in their fight against the seemingly invincible media-consolidation juggernaut. Ernest Hollings, the octogenarian "junior" senator from South Carolina and Democratic chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, answered the advocates' call for an investigation of the Administration's latest media maneuvers and dealt the White House one of its few defeats in the media policy realm. Hollings forced the Bush team to abandon a plan that would have radically restructured the merger review process. Hatched in secret over several months with the input of industry-connected "advisers," the Administration plan, put into place in March, removed all media-, communications-, Internet- and software-related mergers from FTC purview. Traditionally, the Justice Department and FTC have shared jurisdiction over media- and Internet-related mergers, but Bush officials and industry lobbyists, arguing for a more "efficient" review process, wanted to turn these matters over to the DOJ exclusively. …

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