Michael Copps

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Michael Copps
Michael j copps.jpg
Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
In office
January 22, 2009 – June 28, 2009
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byKevin Martin
Succeeded byJulius Genachowski
Personal details
Michael Joseph Copps

(1940-04-23) April 23, 1940 (age 80)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materB.A. Wofford College
Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Michael Joseph Copps (born April 23, 1940) is a former Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an independent agency of the United States government. He was sworn in on May 31, 2001 and served until December 31, 2011. He took on the additional role of acting chairman from January 22, 2009 through June 28, 2009.[1] He relinquished the chairmanship to Julius Genachowski after Genachowski was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 25 and then sworn in on June 29, 2009. He is currently a special adviser to the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause, a nonpartisan citizen advocacy organization.


Early life, education[edit]

Copps was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was a professor of history at Loyola University New Orleans, from 1967 to 1970.[1] He obtained his B.A. from Wofford College in 1963, where he was elected to Pi Gamma Mu and to Phi Beta Kappa. He completed his Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1968. He served as chief of staff to Senator Ernest Hollings for almost 12 years before his appointment to the United States Commerce Department as assistant secretary.

FCC Commissioner[edit]

He served as one of the commissioners of the FCC from May 31, 2001 to December 31, 2011. He was acting chair between January 22, 2009, and June 28, 2009.[1] He relinquished the chairmanship to Julius Genachowski after Genachowski was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 25 and then sworn in on June 29, 2009.

Comcast's acquisition of NBC Universal[edit]

On January 18, 2011 the FCC and the United States Department of Justice allowed Comcast to buy NBC Universal. Michael Copps was the only commissioner of the FCC to vote against the merger.[2]

He said:[3]

I searched in vain for the benefits (...) Pardon me, but a deal of this size should be expected to yield more than the limited benefits cited. (...) In sum, this is simply too much, too big, too powerful, too lacking in benefits for American consumers and citizens.... I would be true to neither the statute nor to everything I have fought for here at the Commission over the past decade if I did not dissent from what I consider to be a damaging and potentially dangerous deal (..) At the end of the day, the public interest requires more-much more-than it is receiving. The Comcast-NBCU joint venture opens the door to the cable-ization of the open Internet. The potential for walled gardens, toll booths, content prioritization, access fees to reach end users, and a stake in the heart of independent content production is now very real.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Biography of Former Commissioner Michael J. Copps". FCC.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  2. ^ FCC, Justice approve Comcast and NBC joint venture. Washington Post. Retrieved 20 January 2011
  3. ^ Copps: Comcast/NBCU 'Damaging and Potentially Dangerous'. Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 20 January 2011

External links[edit]