FCC mulls ending merger ban on 'Big Four' broadcast networks

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted Wednesday to review media ownership rules and potentially overturn one preventing the four major broadcast networks from merging with each other. 

The FCC will seek comments on the rule that prevents mergers among NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox, according to media reports.

The FCC asked Wednesday if the current rule on the "Big Four" is necessary "to promote competition, localism, or viewpoint diversity," according to media reports.

The FCC also said in a report that the four networks face competition from tech companies and streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and Youtube, Reuters reported.

The FCC is “teeing up a number of questions” and will consider whether it makes sense to keep the rule in place, Chairman Ajit Pai reportedly said.

Pai also said during the meeting that the FCC must ensure that its rules "keep pace" with the current marketplace.

“Our endpoints may be unclear right now, but the end goal is not: Our rules must keep pace with the modern media marketplace," he said, according to Variety

The FCC also plans to review rules limiting the number of television and radio stations that a single company can own in one market.