New FCC Chairman Clarifies His Position; News Corp. Calls Out Agencies

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FCC You Later

Ajit Pai, newly appointed chairman of the FCC, pushed back on the idea that he opposes a free and open internet, telling Reuters “the only question is what regulatory framework best secures that.” President Obama’s administration reclassified broadband providers like Comcast and AT&T to something more like a public utility. Pai said these are “Depression-era rules,” and closed FCC investigations into Verizon and AT&T for competitively leveraging mobile data costs for select media, devices, apps and smartphone contracts through zero-rated and sponsored data programs. “My position is the government should not be in the position of prohibiting companies in a competitive marketplace from offering free data.” More.

Painting With Tar

News Corp. is pointing its finger at agencies and ad tech firms for eroding “the integrity of content” and creating “muddled metrics” in the ad market. “Ad agencies and their programmatic networks are also at fault because they have sometimes artificially aggregated audiences, and these are then plied with content of dubious provenance,” said CEO Robert Thomson on the company’s Q4 earnings call, where News Corp. disclosed flat revenues of about $2.2 billion. “There are clearly social, as well as commercial, consequences to this contradiction and the issue is far from being resolved – a tweak to an algorithm or a fact check here or there does not address the basic problem,” he said. More.

Loud And Clear

Facebook is starting to offer more sound-on video ad guarantees – something that has been a critical differentiator for upstart rival Snapchat.  The platform will allow advertisers to buy ads with an option to pay only when the video plays with audio, reports Garett Sloane at Ad Age. On Snapchat, videos are viewed with the sound on 70% of the time. More. The change comes shortly after Facebook agreed to an audit from the Media Rating Council [AdExchanger coverage].  

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