47 CFR 19.735-202 - Financial interests prohibited by the Communications Act.
(a) No Commissioner shall have a pecuniary interest in any hearing or proceeding in which he participates. (47 U.S.C. 154(j).)
(1) Section 4(b) of the Communications Act, at 47 U.S.C. 154(b)(2)(A), provides:
No member of the Commission or person employed by the Commission shall:
(i) Be financially interested in any company or other entity engaged in the manufacture or sale of telecommunications equipment which is subject to regulation by the Commission;
(ii) Be financially interested in any company or other entity engaged in the business of communication by wire or radio or in the use of the electromagnetic spectrum;
(iii) Be financially interested in any company or other entity which controls any company or other entity specified in clause (i) or clause (ii), or which derives a significant portion of its total income from ownership of stocks, bonds, or other securities of any such company or other entity; or
(iv) Be employed by, hold any official relation to, or own any stocks, bonds, or other securities of, any person significantly regulated by the Commission under this act; except that the prohibitions established in this subparagraph shall apply only to financial interests in any company or other entity which has a significant interest in communications, manufacturing, or sales activities which are subject to regulation by the Commission.
(2) To determine whether an entity has a significant interest in communications related activities that are subject to Commission regulations, the Commission shall consider, without excluding other relevant factors, the criteria in section 4(b) of the Communications Act, at 47 U.S.C. 154(b)(3). These criteria include:
(i) The revenues and efforts directed toward the telecommunications aspect of the business;
(ii) The extent of Commission regulation over the entity involved;
(iii) The potential economic impact of any Commission action on that particular entity; and
(iv) The public perception regarding the business activities of the company.
(i) Section 4(b) of the Communications Act, at 47 U.S.C. 154(b)(2)(B)(i), permits the Commission to waive the prohibitions at 47 U.S.C. 154(b)(2)(A). The Act's waiver provision at 47 U.S.C. 154(b)(2)(B)(i) provides:
The Commission shall have authority to waive, from time to time, the application of the prohibitions established in subparagraph (A) of section 4(b) to persons employed by the Commission if the Commission determines that the financial interests of a person which are involved in a particular case are minimal, except that such waiver authority shall be subject to the provisions of section 208 of title 18, United States Code. The waiver authority established in this subparagraph shall not apply with respect to members of the Commission.
(A) Requests for waiver of the provisions of 47 U.S.C. 154(b)(2)(A) may be submitted by an employee to the Head of the employee's Office or Bureau, who will endorse the request with an appropriate recommendation and forward the request to the Designated Agency Ethics Official. The Designated Agency Ethics Official has delegated authority to waive the applicability of 47 U.S.C. 154(b)(2)(A).
(B) All requests for waiver shall be in writing and in the required detail. The dollar value for the financial interest sought to be waived shall be expressed explicitly or in categories of value provided at 5 CFR 2634.301(d).
(C) Copies of all waiver requests and the action taken thereon shall be maintained by the Designated Agency Ethics Official. In any case in which the Commission exercises the waiver authority established in section 4(b) of the Communications Act, the Commission shall publish notice of such action in the Federal Register and shall furnish notice of such action to the appropriate committees of each House of the Congress. Each such notice shall include information regarding the identity of the person receiving the waiver, the position held by such person, and the nature of the financial interests which are the subject of the waiver.