Ruling Against FCC on "Net Neutrality", Plus Ruling Against Canada in Cruise Lines Contract Case

By FindLaw Staff on April 06, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Comcast Corp. v. FCC, No. 08-1291, concerned a petition for review of the FCC's order concluding not only that it had jurisdiction over an internet service provider's network management practices, but also that it could resolve the dispute through adjudication rather than through rulemaking.  The D.C. Circuit granted the petition, holding that 1) the FCC relied principally on several Congressional statements of policy, but statements of policy, by themselves, did not create statutorily mandated responsibilities; and 2) the Commission also relied on various provisions of the Communications Act that did create such responsibilities, but for a variety of substantive and procedural reasons those provisions could not support its exercise of ancillary authority over petitioner's network management practices.

Cruise Connections Charter Mgmt. 1, L.P. v. Att'y. Gen. of Canada, No. 09-7060, involved an action for breach of contract against Canada and related instrumentalities based on an agreement for a U.S. company to provide cruise ships for the Vancouver Olympics.  The court of appeals reversed the dismissal of the complaint, on the ground that, due to the commercial activities exception, Canada was not immune from suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, because Canada's actions left plaintiff unable to consummate fully negotiated, multi-million-dollar subcontracts with U.S.-based cruise lines to provide the necessary ships and thus had a "direct effect" in the U.S.

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