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FCC v. Allentown Broadcasting Corporation

United States Supreme Court
349 U.S. 358 (1955)


The Easton Publishing Company and the Allentown Broadcasting Corporation (defendant) applied for construction permits for standard broadcast stations with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (plaintiff). Because both applications were for the same frequency, the FCC held hearings to determine which company should receive the permit. A hearing examiner issued an initial decision recommending that the FCC award the permit to Allentown. The hearing examiner based the decision in part on the evasiveness of Easton’s witnesses. Easton filed an exception to the decision. The FCC heard oral arguments and issued a final decision. The final decision overruled the examiner’s decision and awarded the permit to Easton. On appeal, the Court of Appeals set aside the FCC’s order, reasoning that the FCC could not overrule the decision of the examiner without a very substantial preponderance of evidence to the contrary. The FCC appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Reed, J.)

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