Market Disputes | Legal, Social, and Long-Term Implications for an Evolving Spectrum Market
10 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2019
Date Written: July 26, 2019
Enforcement, adjudication, and litigation enacted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) resides at an interesting intersection between traditional law and normative common property resource agreements – similar to those in common pool resources. Despite being granted specific legal powers by Congress, the FCC works to dissolve contentions that arise between spectrum incumbents through market dispute resolutions mediated through their Enforcement Bureau’s Market and Dispute Resolution Division (MDRD). The MDRD mediates and adjudicates a myriad of complaint types brought on by “market participants, entities, and organizations against common carriers, commercial and mobile data service providers, and/or utility pole operators” (EB-Market Disputes and Resolution Division, n.d.).
The MDRD’s decision to promote resolutions between complainants and defendants is unique in terms of traditional enforcement mechanisms – especially as a primary regulatory agency. The initiative to have stakeholders mediate, negotiate, and ultimately settle their disputes on their level is reminiscent of dispute remediation tactics observed in common pool resource environments. To investigate this approach to enforcement, adjudication, and litigation further, we utilize the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) Framework developed by Elinor Ostrom. Used to scaffold a myriad of policy, regulatory, and traditional CPRs, the IAD Framework incites a unique investigation into the agreements that arise between disputing parties.
Our work shows that state/government regulation is not explicitly required to foster an enforcement environment. Primarily, this provides a foundation for our work regarding automated enforcement mechanisms, whereby, third party agents through automation can facilitate enforcement effectively within an increasingly overutilized spectrum market.
Keywords: Market Disputes, IAD Framework, FCC, Automated Enforcement, Spectrum, Radio, Regulation, Policy
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