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Two major communications issues—net neutrality and the AT&T/Time Warner merger opinion—are making headlines this week, and UT faculty member Stuart Brotman is available to explain what’s happening and how it might affect consumers.

Stuart Brotman

Net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order took  effect Monday. It reverses the 2015 FCC Open Internet Order, which brought the internet under tighter regulations.

Experts debate whether, or how, lessening governmental regulation will impact net neutrality, the idea that internet service providers should treat all data the same regardless of its kind, source, or destination.

AT&T/Time Warner merger opinion

A judge’s opinion about the merger between AT&T, the nation’s largest telecommunications provider, and Time Warner, owner of HBO, CNN, Turner Broadcasting, and Warner Bros., is expected today.

At issue in the case—which some have called the antitrust case of the decade—is whether the merger would hinder competition in the TV industry and hurt consumers.

Antitrust watchers say the judge’s ruling could set a precedent for how heavy-handed the government will be in regulating future media mergers, at both the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission.

Brotman, the Howard Distinguished Endowed Professor of Media Management and Law and the Beaman Professor of Journalism and Electronic Media, has written extensively about net neutrality. Brotman is not involved in the AT&T/Time Warner case and can offer objective analysis on how the deal would affect media competitors and the public at large. He can be reached at sbrotman@utk.eduor 865-282-2136.

Media coverage: News Sentinel, Erica Breunlin, June 13 (Also ran in The Tennessean); News Sentinel, June 15


Stuart Brotman (865-282-2136,

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,