AT & T Corp. v. Iowa Utilities Board
By: LN on May 02, 2012 09:58:06 AM

Citation:  525 U.S. 366, 119 S.Ct. 721, 142 L.Ed.2d 835 (1999).

Summary:  Petitioner Commission after enacting the Telecommunications Act came out with a report for implementing local competition provisions which were challenged by respondent LEC. Petitioner claimed that they had the authority for implementing the local competition provisions.

Facts:  The Telecommunications Act restructured the local telephone markets. States were not needed to interfere in the competition. Incumbent local exchange carriers (LEC) were subjected to many duties which facilitated market entry. Six months after enactment of the act, petitioner commission came out with its report which implemented local competition provisions. Several suits were filed by the LECs and all were consolidated in the eighth circuit court which vacated the rules of petitioner and held that the rulemaking authority of the Commission was only for interstate matters. Petitioner sought review of the decision passed by the eighth circuit court.

Issue:  Whether the appellate court was correct in holding that the general rule making authority conferred on the Commission by the Communication Act of 1934 extended only to interstate matters?

Holding:  Yes, appellate court was correct in holding that the general rule making authority conferred on the Commission by the Communications Act of 1934 extended only to interstate matters.

Procedure:  Judgment of the appellate court was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court.

Rule:  The Commission could prescribe such rules and regulations which were necessary in the interest of the public to carry out the provisions of the act. (Communications Act 1934, § 201(b), 1938 Amendment)

Rationale:  It was found that the Commission had not interpreted the terms of the statute in a reasonable fashion.

Dissent:  Four judges dissented to the judgment.

 

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