Relaxed to zero antitrust enforcement for the telecommunications-information-entertainment industry are over for the foreseeable future. Mega mergers will be dead on arrival, and while deals that seek approval will risk rejection and/or the imposition of stringent conditions following intense and rigorous review.
Join this webinar for an inside glimpse of the winds of change sweeping through the Department of Justice, and specifically the Antitrust Division under the proactive leadership of Christine Varney, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the US Congress. As one Obama Administration official put it: "We're going to be the cops on the beat. The days of approving almost all mergers with no or inconsequential conditions are over."
In fact the new era is already under way, with inquiries aimed specifically at the telecommunications sector, e.g., telephone and wireless companies, cable TV multiple system operators, and equipment manufacturers, to prevent or regulate so-called anticompetitive agreements, e.g., service provider-equipment tie-ins, that MAY be designed to raise prices and reduce consumer access and choice.
Dr. Alan Pearce founded Information Age Economics in 1979 after a senior level policy career in the U.S. Government from 1970-78.
As one of the prime architects of public policy at the Federal Communications Commission in the 1970s, Dr. Pearce helped lay the foundation of a new information era. Beginning in 1970, Dr. Pearce was chief economist and special assistant to FCC Chairman Dean Burch and later to his successor Richard Wiley. In that capacity, he was responsible for economic policy research and design pertaining to all major matters pending before the FCC. During a five year tenure in the Office of the Chairman at the Commission, Pearce oversaw the investigation of AT&T, which eventually led to the breakup of the company in 1984; the early policies that encouraged the convergence of computers and communications; the launching of domestic satellites to provide telecommunications-information-entertainment services to the public; the beginning of public policies encouraging the development of cable TV; investigations into children’s TV; business relationships between the Hollywood movie and program production industry and the TV networks; and wireless and spectrum policies that resulted in the introduction of universal wireless services.
Dr. Pearce next became chief economist, Subcommittee on Telecommunications, U.S. House of Representatives, where he was responsible for developing legislation and monitoring the telecommunications-information-entertainment industry via hearings, consultations, and reports.
After leaving the House, Dr. Pearce joined the Office of Telecommunications Policy in the Executive Office of the President, as chief economist and senior policy adviser. He was responsible for coordinating policy research and developments emanating from the many federal departments and agencies that hold industry regulatory authority.
Since leaving the government, Dr. Pearce has provided professional services to telecommunications, wireless, satellite, cable TV, movie and program production companies, and broadcasting corporations, along with software and equipment manufacturers. He has also consulted with a wide variety of government organizations at the international, federal, state, and local levels.
Pearce has assisted clients in the U.S. and overseas with negotiations on privatizations and appropriate regulatory structures ( Great Britain, France, South Korea, Australia, Mexico, etc.), antitrust issues and actions, mergers and acquisitions, appraisals and valuations, franchises, and service rates. He has lectured and written on international business and the telecommunications-information-entertainment industry both domestically and globally. He is the author of several books, more than 1,000 published articles, and has lectured and been a featured speaker at universities and industry conferences throughout the world.
In addition, Dr. Pearce has worked with a number of successful entrepreneurial ventures, including the Adaptive Corporation and its parent, Network Equipment Technologies; BrightLink; Ciena Corporation; CustomerLinx; HTLT Software; ITGlobalSecure; Link America; LynkLabs; Pete's Brewing Company; Quixotic Solutions, Inc.; and SignalSoft, among others. In the past several years, Dr. Pearce conducted the economic research that persuaded the US Government to approve Cingular’s $41 Billion all-cash acquisition of AT&T Wireless, and the EU and US Government to deny MCI-WorldCom’s attempted $129 Billion acquisition of Sprint. In April, 2006, he completed a study entitled “The 700 MHz Auction: Economic Analysis of the Public Safety & Homeland Security Benefits of a Public-Private Partnership,” which was filed at the FCC in connection with CyrenCall’s petition for notice of proposed rulemaking.
Senator Larry Pressler, R-S.D., former Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and one of the authors of The Telecommunications Act of 1996, has described Dr. Pearce as "one of the true visionaries in the telecommunications-information industry."
Prior to coming to the U.S. in 1968, Pearce worked as both a newspaper and TV journalist, and was foreign editor of Independent Television News in London. He was also Chairman of The London Radio and Television Branch of the National Union of Journalists.
Dr. Pearce holds bachelor and master degrees from The London School of Economics and Political Science,
University of London, and a doctorate in business and telecommunications from Indiana University.
TESTIMONY BY DR. PEARCE INCLUDES:
- Senate Judiciary Committee, June 10, 1981, re International Telecommunications Services.
- House Telecommunications Subcommittee, May 27, 1981, re telecommunications-information-entertainment industry structure and regulation.
- House Committee on Small Business, September 23, 1983, re cable television multiple ownership issues.
- Postal Rate Commission, November, 1980, re postal rates for books and recording materials.
- California Public Utilities Commission, November 21, 1983, re Intra-LATA competition in the telecommunications industry.
- Nebraska Public Service Commission, September 18, 1986, re deregulation of telecommunications services.
- New Brunswick Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities, May 7-19, 1984, re
competitive and deregulatory conditions in the telecommunications-information industry.
- Newfoundland Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities, April 12-15, 1988, re competition and deregulation in he telecommunications-information industry
- Federal Communications Commission – at various dates and on various issues, i.e., broadcasting, cable TV, telecommunications, etc., throughout the 1980s & 90s.
- U.S. Tax Court, December 12 and 13, 1989, re cable TV franchising.
- U.S. Tax Court, September 18, 1986, re TV program syndication and investment tax credits.
- U.S. Court of Claims, February 11 & 15, 1987, re TV program syndication and ITCs.
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court, February 7, 1987, re Dama Communications bankruptcy and Data General’s acquisition of Dama.
- Federal District Court in Las Vegas, NV, December 1 & 2, 1986, in Wayne Newton vs NBC.
- Federal District Court in San Diego, CA, February 8 & 11, 1991, re M/A COM and Digital Termination Services.
- Deposed in MCA/Disney, et al vs Sony in the Spring of 1978.
- Deposed in Dr. Steven Shearing vs Johnson & Johnson, June 2, 1988, re the value of Dr. Shearing’s patents.
- Deposed in a case against United Cable, January 18, 1990, re value of minority ownership in the Baltimore, MD, cable TV system.
- California Tax Board, San Francisco, December 4 & 5, 1997, and July 13 & 14, 1998, concerning tax issues associated with Viacom’s cable TV systems and Viacom’s purchase of Paramount Studios.
- Deposed in case involving AirTouch Wireless, 1997.
- Retained by Office if Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service, in case against AT&T & GTE Wireless re wireless company contracts and wireless industry churn rates, June, 2000-July, 2001. Case settled.
- May, 2001-September, 2002, valuations of assets of NOS Communications of Las Vegas, NV, in connection with pending litigation.
- June, 2003: PASCOM vs Nationwide Insurance. Appraised the market value fire damaged fixed wireless equipment in an arbitration proceeding. Subsequently retained as an expert witness and deposed in a case that was settled by arbitration in October, 2004.
- November, 2003-June, 2006: Retained by Department of Justice in 15 separate cases in the U.S. Federal District Courts and in the U.S. Court of Claims, involving telecommunications services, contract tariffs, and federal excise taxes.
- December, 2003-September, 2005: Retained by ITC DeltaCom in Federal District Court Case in Miami regarding FCC de-tariffing of long distance services and international wireless termination rates.
- March, 2005-July, 2006: Retained by the City of Portland, Oregon, in a Federal District Court case against Qwest Communications and Time Warner involving City-owned broadband communications network. The City won the case in 2006, but both Qwest and Time Warner are expected to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Partial list of publications available on request.