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Foreign Ownership Rules and Policies

Foreign Carrier Notification of Affiliation

Under Section 63.11 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 63.11, authorized U.S.-international carriers have a continuing obligation to notify the Commission of foreign carrier affiliations acquired after the Commission grants their international Section 214 authorizations.  In certain circumstances, authorized U.S.-international carriers have an obligation to obtain Commission approval before acquiring an affiliation with a foreign carrier. 

Similarly, under Section 1.768 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.768, U.S. cable landing licensees have a continuing obligation to notify the Commission of an affiliation with a foreign carrier authorized to operate in a market where the U.S.-licensed cable lands.  In certain circumstances, U.S. cable landing licensees have an obligation to obtain Commission approval before acquiring an affiliation with a foreign carrier authorized to operate in a market where the U.S.-licensed cable lands.

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Foreign Carriers (Presumed to Possess Market Power)

The Commission maintains a “List of Foreign Telecommunications Carriers that Are Presumed to Possess Market Power in Foreign Telecommunications Markets” for purposes of implementing certain of its rules that apply to authorized U.S.-international common carriers (also referred to as U.S.-international “telecommunications carriers”).  The International Bureau is in the process of updating the list, which is appended to Public Notice, DA 07-233, The International Revises and Reissues the Commission’s List of Foreign Telecommunications Carriers that Are Presumed to Possess Market Power in Foreign Telecommunications Markets,  Public Notice, DA 07-233, 22 FCC Rcd 945 (Int’l Bur. 2007) (Foreign Carrier List).

The reissued Foreign Carrier List will reflect the Bureau’s decision to remove Cable & Wireless Bermuda Ltd. from the list.  The Bureau has determined that Cable & Wireless Bermuda Ltd., which has been renamed LinkBermuda Ltd. (LinkBermuda), lacks sufficient market power on the foreign end of the U.S.-Bermuda route to affect competition adversely in the U.S. market.  See Eastlink International (USA) Inc., DA 13-1349, 28 FCC Rcd 8364 (Int’l Bur. 2013) (Eastlink Order) (removing LinkBermuda from the Foreign Carrier List). 

The Foreign Carrier List currently applies for purposes of implementing the following Commission rules:  section 1.767(g)(5) (involving the prohibition on authorized U.S. cable landing licensees agreeing to accept special concessions), 47 C.F.R. § 1.767(g)(5); section 63.14 (involving the prohibition on authorized U.S.-international common carriers agreeing to accept special concessions), 47 C.F.R. § 63.14; and section 63.22(f) (involving the terms and conditions of certain agreements entered into by U.S.-international common carriers authorized to provide facilities-based switched voice service on the U.S.-Cuba route), 47 C.F.R. § 63.22(f).  See 2012 ISP Reform Order, FCC 12-145.

The Foreign Carrier List does not apply for purposes of market power determinations under sections 63.10 (regulatory classification of U.S. international carriers) or 63.18 (contents of applications for international common carriers). 

Foreign Ownership Rules and Policies for Common Carrier, Aeronautical En Route and Aeronautical Fixed Radio Station Licensees 

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