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What the FCC’s Relaxed Foreign Ownership Regulations Mean for Global Commerce

Product Code - LGA196
Speaker(s): Donald Evans, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth PLC; Angela E. Giancarlo, Mayer Brown; Rosemary C. Harold, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP; Francisco R. Montero, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth PLC
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While Congress continues to debate the underlying principles of immigration reform legislation, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been taking steps to make it easier for aliens to own stakes in U.S.-based media and communications companies. In April, the FCC voted unanimously to streamline its rules for reviewing the foreign ownership of American corporations with common carrier wireless licenses and aeronautical radio licenses under sections 310(b)(3) and 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act.

At the FCC, this historic, yet under the radar, action is seen as a sign of growing acceptance to foreign ownership—and at an especially critical time. Virtually all leading economists see capital investment in communications technology and U.S. competitiveness in the world economy as mutually dependent. And the FCC’s work may not be done. At least two commissioners want the agency to act on a proposal to refrain from applying a provision of the Communications Act that prohibits more than 25 percent of a broadcasting company to be owned by a foreign entity.

The faculty for this program will discuss these developments and their impact on FCC regulation, the media-and-communications sector, and foreign ownership laws in the United States.

Educational Objectives:

• Understand current trends in foreign ownership of media and telecommunications companies and the Federal Communications Commission’s regulatory role in overseeing a changing global marketplace.
• Learn about the consequences of the FCC loosening rules to encourage foreigners to invest more in the United States.
• Hear insights about the FCC’s recent actions that could have far-reaching implications for other industries—and global commerce.

Who would most benefit from attending this program?

Counsel advising communications and broadcasting companies; professionals involved in media ownership and regulation; those dealing in international commerce.

Program Level: Intermediate.

Credit Available: CLE. For more information, please click on the “CLE Credit” tab.

Donald Evans, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth PLC; Angela E. Giancarlo, Mayer Brown; Rosemary C. Harold, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP; Francisco R. Montero, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth PLC

Donald Evans, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth PLC
Don Evans’ practice covers a wide spectrum of telecommunications fields. He has historically represented major commercial mobile radio providers, having participated in the cellular radio and PCS services since their inception. He has litigated complex broadcast and common carrier hearings before the FCC's ALJs. In addition, he provides counsel and routine filing assistance to multi-station broadcast concerns. An early practitioner in the field of "wireless cable," he continues to represent Broadband Radio Service companies and their affiliated educational partners through the FCC process.

Mr. Evans earned a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A., magna cum laude, from Boston College. He is a member of the Bars of the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland and is also admitted to the specialized bars of the Court of Federal Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Angela E. Giancarlo, Mayer Brown
Angela Giancarlo is a Government & Global Trade partner in Washington, D.C. She focuses on the wireless, media and broadband Internet sectors. In particular, Ms. Giancarlo is well-known for her deep technical knowledge and extensive experience in handling radio frequency spectrum issues. She provides counsel for strategic planning on spectrum allocations, auction-related policy and transactional issues; regulation of new licensed and unlicensed technologies; and international convergence and competition issues at the Federal Communications Commission and international government fora. Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Ms. Giancarlo spent eight years with the FCC, where she held several senior management positions. Most recently, she served as Chief of Staff and Senior Legal Advisor to Commissioner Robert McDowell.

Ms. Giancarlo earned a J.D. from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, where she was Assistant Editor of CommLaw Conspectus Journal of Communications Law & Policy, and a B.A. from Trinity College. She is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and before several Courts of Appeals, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rosemary C. Harold, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP
Rosemary Harold is a partner with Wilkinson Barker Knauer. For the past six years, she served at the Federal Communications Commission, most recently as Legal Advisor to FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell for media and broadband issues, with a particular focus on First Amendment concerns. She earlier served as Deputy Chief of the FCC’s Media Bureau, where she led the staff teams working on major rulemakings such as video franchising reform and media ownership, as well as on major transactional reviews such as the Sirius/XM merger.

Before her government service, Ms. Harold’s practice included FCC regulatory proceedings in the media, satellite, and wireless areas, diversity and EEO matters at the FCC and EEOC, and First Amendment commercial speech matters before the FTC, FDA and federal appellate courts. Ms. Harold began her career as a journalist, including work as a reporter and bureau chief, an editor, and during law school, a columnist.

Ms. Harold earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center; an M.A. from the University of Missouri; and a B.A. from the College of William and Mary. She is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania.

Francisco R. Montero, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth PLC
Frank Montero is a Co-Managing Partner with the law firm of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth. He focuses on telecommunications, broadcasting, media and technology. Mr. Montero’s practice includes FCC regulatory counseling, corporate finance, asset and securities acquisitions, intellectual property, and real estate and commercial transactions.

Mr. Montero was an appointed member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age. He has served as the Director of the Federal Communications Commission’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities. While at the FCC, he worked extensively with industry, trade associations, financing institutions and governmental agencies to create business opportunities for entrepreneurs, start-ups and other small businesses in the telecommunications and technology sectors.

Mr. Montero earned a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School, where he served on the George Washington University Law Review, and a B.A. from the University of Michigan. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, New York, and Virginia.

This program’s CLE-credit eligibility varies by state. Bloomberg BNA is an accredited provider in the states of New York*, California, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, and most other jurisdictions grant CLE credit on a per-program basis. At this time, Bloomberg BNA does not apply directly to the states of Florida, Rhode Island, Montana and Hawaii although credit is usually available for attorneys who wish to apply individually. Additionally, the following states currently do not grant credit for Bloomberg BNA OnDemand programming: Arkansas, Ohio, Nebraska, and Delaware. All requests are subject to approval once the live webinar has taken place or the customer has viewed the OnDemand version. Please contact the Bloomberg BNA accreditations desk if you have specific questions that have not been addressed.

If you have further questions regarding a specific state or how to file for CLE credit, please contact Bloomberg BNA customer service at 800-372-1033 and ask to speak to the CLE Accreditation Coordinator.

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*Bloomberg BNA is an accredited provider in New York for experienced attorneys only.