Welcome to the Tech & Telecom Weekly, an e-newsletter keeping you apprised of the latest developments in the telecommunications and high-tech industries.

FCC Policy

The FCC has released the Tentative Agenda for the Open Meeting scheduled for September 30, 2021, at 10:30am ET. It contains nine items, including a Report and Order adopting “Standard Questions” that must be answered by entities with reportable foreign ownership that apply for several types of FCC approval and an Order on Reconsideration in which the agency vacates its own 2020 order governing use of the 4.9 GHz band. For more information about FCC matters, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Compliance Alerts

The FCC Annual Regulatory Fee is due September 24, 2020. Payment is made via the Fee Filer database. For carriers and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, the fee is derived from the 2021 FCC Form 499-A. RespOrgs are assessed per toll-free number they use, based upon their numbering data as reported by SOMOS, the toll-free number administrator. For those entities, an assessment less than $1000 is considered de minimis, which excuses them from the fee. Overdue payments are subject to a statutory 25% late-payment penalty. The Order setting forth fee calculation can be found here. For more information about compliance matters, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall. (MD Docket No. 21-190, DA 21-1110) 

FTC Items

The FTC has released the Tentative Agenda for the Open Meeting scheduled for September 15, 2021, at 11:00am ET. It contains four items, including a proposed Policy Statement regarding data breaches of healthcare-related applications and connected devices and a proposal to rescind the Vertical Merger Guidelines issued June 2020 and the Commentary on Vertical Merger Enforcement issued December 2020.  For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce

In the Courts

On September 10, 2021, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a 185-page post-trial order in the Fortnite antitrust case in which she held that Apple’s app store arrangement is “near the precipice of substantial market power” but is not an unlawful monopoly. But despite no finding of market power, she found that the 30% commission Apple takes on app and in-app purchases is not justifiable. In addition, she held in favor of Apple on its counterclaims against Epic Games, publisher of Fortnite, for implementing a work-around that prevented Apple from receiving the 30% commission set forth in the parties’ licensing agreement. Epic Games will owe Apple millions in damages dating back to August 2020. Epic Games, Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 4:20-cv-5640 (N.D. Cal.).  For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Note: This publication is distributed with the understanding that the author, publisher and distributor of this publication and/or any linked publication are not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters and, accordingly, assume no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. Pursuant to applicable rules of professional conduct, portions of this publication may constitute Attorney Advertising.

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Marlene Laro

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