Summary: H.R.5096 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House with amendment(s) (08/12/1992)

Antitrust Reform Act of 1992 - Authorizes Bell operating companies (BOCs) to apply to the Attorney General, notwithstanding the Modification of Final Judgment entered into on August 24, 1982 (AT&T consent decree), for authorization to: (1) engage in research and development related to telecommunications or customers premises equipment; (2) provide information services; (3) manufacture or provide telecommunications equipment, or manufacture customer premises equipment; or (4) provide interexchange telecommunications. Requires such application to describe with particularity the nature and scope of each activity, and of each product, service, and geographic market for which authorization is sought.

Specifies that the applicable date after which a BOC may apply for authorization: (1) with respect to providing interexchange telecommunications, or an information service relating to an alarm monitoring service, shall be five years after the date of enactment; and (2) in any other case, shall be the date of enactment.

Sets forth procedures regarding: (1) the publication of applications in the Federal Register; (2) determinations by the Attorney General, following a comment period by interested persons; and (3) judicial review of such determinations.

Makes it unlawful for a BOC to engage in activities to be permitted for BOCs under this Act (such activities) before authorized to do so pursuant to this Act, with exceptions for specified previously authorized activities.

Prohibits a BOC with monopoly power in any exchange service market, with respect to such activities (with exceptions), from: (1) discriminating in any relevant market between itself or an affiliated enterprise and any other person (or between any two such other persons) with respect to any product or service related to the provision or use of a telecommunications service if the effect of such action may be to substantially lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly, in any line of commerce; (2) using proceeds obtained from providing exchange service in such market to subsidize such activities in any relevant market; (3) becoming an affiliated enterprise of, or acquiring any exchange assets of, another BOC; and (4) engaging in such activities with another BOC in any relevant market in restraint of trade.

Requires: (1) each BOC to advise in writing each of its officers and responsible management personnel of the requirements of this Act and that violations may result in criminal liability; and (2) the chief executive officer of each BOC that is not owned or controlled by another BOC to certify annually in writing to the Attorney General whether such company and its affiliates have complied with the provisions of this Act.

Specifies that: (1) it shall be the duty of the U.S. Attorneys to institute proceedings to prevent and restrain violations of this Act in their districts; and (2) whoever knowingly engages (or attempts to engage) in specified activities prohibited by this Act shall be guilty of a felony (and, upon conviction, shall be punished to the same extent provided for a violation of the Sherman Act).

Provides a private right of action (for damages and injunctive relief) for violation of this Act.

Sets forth provisions with respect to: (1) jurisdiction; (2) subpoena; and (3) the relationship of this Act to other laws (including provision for cumulative penalties).

Amends the Clayton Act to include this Act among the antitrust laws.