Court says no exclusive cable rights in apartments

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal appeals court says cable companies cannot have exclusive rights to provide service in apartment buildings that they wire.

The decision Tuesday from the Court of Appeals in Washington upholds a Federal Communications Commission ruling that banned the exclusive agreements as anticompetitive.

The deals involved a company exchanging a valuable service like wiring a multiunit building for cable in exchange for the exclusive right to provide service to all the residents.

The commission said cable operators could no longer enter into such deals and existing ones could not be enforced. Associations representing cable companies and apartment building owners sued. But the appeals court sided with the FCC.

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