It's called "regulation by merger condition." And at the Federal Communications Commission, it's a problem that has become epidemic. As part of a drawn-out process the agency follows for approving proposed mergers in the communications industry (where it shares review authority with the Department of Justice), companies are persuaded to volunteer or are sometimes simply forced into accepting pages and pages of conditions that limit the merged entities' operating flexibility for years to come.
In part, the voluntary conditions are offered just to get the process moving. Though the FCC is required to complete its review … Read more