Brendan Carr, a commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has officially rejected calls to block Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s purchase of social media platform Twitter.
According to a report by Fox News, left-wing groups have been pushing the FCC commissioner to step in because Musk also owns the internet provider service Starlink.
Via the FCC press release:
Yesterday, the Open Markets Institute issued a release that called for the FCC, FTC, and DOJ to block Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. They argue that the transaction poses a “direct threat to American democracy and free speech.” And their release cites to the Telegraph Act of 1860, among other statutory authorities, in the context of arguing that these federal agencies have authority to block the deal.
Commissioner Carr issued the following statement in response: “The FCC has no authority to block Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, and to suggest otherwise is absurd. I would welcome the full FCC making it clear that we will not entertain these types of frivolous arguments.”
Some groups believe that Musk will just have too much power if he also owns Twitter, including the Open Markets Institute who said, they “believes the deal poses a number of immediate and direct threats to American democracy and free speech,” OMI Director Barry Lynn said in a statement.
“Open Markets also believes the deal violates existing law, and that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have ample authority to block it.”
According to Lynn, “the deal would give to a single man – one who already wields immense political and economic power – direct control over one of world’s most important platforms for public communications and debate.”
“Mr. Musk already controls one of the most important internet platforms in the world – in the form of the satellite communications system Starlink,” Lynn noted.
“Since the late 19th Century, the U.S. government has routinely acted to prevent mergers between existing essential platforms. … This means that just as we would now expect the U.S. government to block a takeover of Twitter by Google, Facebook, Comcast, or Verizon, the same rules apply to the owners of Starlink.”