Summary: H.R.1528 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House amended, Part I (07/24/1995)

Antitrust Consent Decree Reform Act of 1995 - Authorizes a Bell operating company (BOC) to apply to the Attorney General for authorization, notwithstanding the Modification of Final Judgment entered into on August 24, 1982 (AT&T consent decree), to provide interexchange telecommunications, to manufacture or provide telecommunications equipment or manufacture customer premises equipment, or, three years after enactment of this Act, to provide alarm monitoring services (such activities).

Requires that: (1) the application describe the nature and scope of the activity and the product market, service market, and geographic market for which authorization is sought; and (2) the Attorney General publish the application in the Federal Register and make available to the public all information (excluding trade secrets and privileged or confidential commercial or financial information) submitted by the applicant in connection with the application.

Sets forth provisions regarding determinations by the Attorney General and judicial review of such determinations. Directs the Attorney General to approve the granting of the authorization for which a BOC has applied unless there is a dangerous probability that such company or its affiliates would successfully use market power to substantially impede competition in the market such company seeks to enter.

(Sec. 3) Prohibits a BOC, directly or through an affiliate, from engaging in such activities until authorized in accordance with this Act, with specified exceptions for certain activities authorized by the District Court for the District of Columbia under the Modification of Final Judgment, alarm monitoring services provided by the BOC before enactment of this Act, interexchange telecommunications services for telecommunications that originate in any exchange area outside of the BOC's region, and certain incidental long distance services relating to providing audio or video programming, out of region cable television services, cellular telephone service, information services, local exchange signaling information, and network signaling information.

(Sec. 4) Prohibits a BOC and any affiliate from engaging in the provision of electronic publishing that is disseminated by means of such BOC's, or any of its affiliates', basic telephone service, but allows a separated affiliate or electronic publishing joint venture to provide electronic publishing. Specifies that nothing in this section shall prohibit a BOC from providing electronic publishing that is not disseminated by means of the BOC's or any of its affiliates' basic telephone service.

Sets forth requirements for separated affiliates and electronic publishing joint ventures regarding: (1) maintenance of separate books, records, accounts, debts, and financial statements from the BOC; (2) hiring prohibitions related to interactions with, or former employees of, a BOC; (3) a prohibition on providing any wireline telephone exchange service in any telephone exchange area where a BOC with which it is under common ownership or control provides basic telephone exchange service, except on a resale basis; (4) a prohibition on using the name, trademarks, or service marks of an existing BOC, except when they are or were used in common with the entity that owns or controls the BOC; and (5) an annual compliance review.

Sets forth the requirements for the BOCs with respect to such affiliates or ventures, including: (1) restrictions and prohibitions with regard to the provision of facilities, services, basic telephone service information, and debt or equity financing; (2) requirements with regard to transactions and transfers of personnel, assets, or anything of value; and (3) a compliance review.

Prohibits a BOC and any affiliate from providing to any electronic publisher, including a separated affiliate or electronic publishing joint venture, customer proprietary network information for use in connection with the provision of electronic publishing that is disseminated by means of such BOC's or affiliate's basic telephone service that is not made available to all electronic publishers under the same terms and conditions.

Prohibits a BOC from carrying out any promotion, marketing, sales, or advertising for a separated affiliate or for an affiliate related to electronic publishing.

Permits a BOC to: (1) provide inbound telemarketing or referral services on a nondiscriminatory basis for a separated affiliate or electronic publishing joint venture; (2) engage in certain teaming arrangements with a separated affiliate or any other electronic publisher; and (3) engage in electronic publishing joint ventures with entities that are not a BOC, affiliate, or separated affiliate, provided the BOC does not own more than 50 percent equity interest in the joint venture.

Sets forth requirements regarding records of any transactions and the valuation of any assets transferred between: (1) a BOC and any affiliate related to the provision of electronic publishing; and (2) any affiliate and any separated affiliate.

Prohibits a BOC from having employees, property, or facilities in common with any an electronic publisher (excluding an electronic publishing joint venture as authorized under this Act).

Prohibits: (1) certain interaction (including common officers, property, facilities, marketing or administrative functions) between a BOC and electronic publishers; or (2) the provision of services or basic telephone service information by a BOC to any electronic publisher in connection with electronic publishing that is disseminated by the BOC's or an affiliate's basic telephone service unless equivalent services are provided on equivalent terms to all.

Terminates applicability of the electronic publishing provisions of this Act to conduct occurring after June 30, 2000. Authorizes a private right of action for violations of such provisions.

Specifies sections of the Modification of Final Judgment superseded by this Act.