Home Box Office v. Federal Communications Commission

567 F.2d 9 (D.C. Cir.), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 829 (1977)


This casebook presented the part of the opinion relating to objections regarding exparte communications. Henry Geller (P) had filed a petition for revision of the procedures based on alleged violation of ex parte communications according to Sangamon. The Commission took no action in response to the petition and Geller proposes that the orders be set aside because of this procedural infirmity. It was uncontested that a number of participants before the Commission sought out individual Commissioners or employees for the purpose of discussing ex parte and in confidence the merits of the rules under review. The Commission opposed Geller in that they claimed his petition was untimely and he was estopped from complaining about something that he did himself and that the Sangamon case does not apply. Home Box Office (P) and others challenged the 4 rules created contending they were invalid because of ex parte communications by the FCC (D). The court ordered the Commissions sua sponte to provide a list of all ex parte presentations with details. The list revealed widespread ex parte communications. Home