FCC v. Allentown Broadcasting Corp.,
349 U.S. 358 (1955)

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U.S. Supreme Court

FCC v. Allentown Broadcasting Corp., 349 U.S. 358 (1955)

Federal Communications Commission v.

Allentown Broadcasting Corp.

No. 451

Argued April 20-21, 1955

Decided June 6, 1955

349 U.S. 358


1. The Federal Communications Commission, in considering two mutually exclusive applications for radio broadcasting stations in different communities, under § 307(b) of the Communications Act, may properly decide in favor of one applicant over the other on the basis of community need without first finding that the applicants are approximately equal in their ability to serve their respective communities. Pp. 349 U. S. 360-362.

2. When mutually exclusive applicants seek authority to serve different communities, it is proper for the Commission to determine first which community has the greater need for additional services and then to determine which applicant can best serve that community's need. Pp. 349 U. S. 361-362.

3. The distribution of a second license to a community in order to secure local competition for originating programs of local interest and provide an additional organ for local self-expression is within the allowable area of the Commission's discretion. P. 349 U. S. 362.

4. There was substantial evidence to support the Commission's decision in this case. Pp. 349 U. S. 363-364.

5. An administrative agency's overruling of an examiner's findings based on the demeanor of a witness is not required to be supported by a "very substantial preponderance" in the evidence. P. 349 U. S. 364.

6. The decision of the Court of Appeals reversing the order of the Federal Communications Commission in this case was erroneous in matters of law, and the case is remanded to that court for reconsideration of the record, but freed from rulings here declared erroneous. Pp. 349 U. S. 364-365.

94 U.S.App.D.C. ___, ___ F.2d ___, reversed.

Page 349 U. S. 359

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