No. 00-832.

534 U.S. 327 (2002)

122 S.Ct. 782

151 L.Ed.2d 794


Supreme Court of United States.

Decided January 16, 2002.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

James A. Feldman argued the cause for petitioners in No. 00-843. With him on the brief were Solicitor General Olson, Acting Solicitor General Underwood, Acting Assistant Attorney General Nannes, Deputy Solicitor General Wallace, Robert B. Nicholson, Robert J. Wiggers, and Jane E. Mago. Peter D. Keisler argued the cause for petitioner in No. 00-832. With him on the briefs were Paul J. Zidlicky, Daniel L. Brenner, Neal M. Goldberg, David L. Nicoll, Paul Glist, John D. Seiver, and Geoffrey C. Cook. Anthony C. Epstein and William Single IV filed a brief for Worldcom, Inc., respondent under this Court's Rule 12.6, in support of petitioners in both cases.

Thomas P. Steindler argued the cause for respondents in both cases. With him on the brief for respondents American Electric Power Service Corp. et al. were Shirley S. Fujimoto, Christine M. Gill, J. Russell Campbell, Andrew W. Tunnell, and Ralph A. Peterson. Robert P. Williams II and Charles A. Zdebski filed a brief for respondents Atlantic City Electric Co. et al. in both cases. Jonathan L. Wiener and Neil Anderson filed a brief for respondent TXU Electric Co. in both cases. Jean G. Howard filed a brief for Florida Power & Light Co., respondent in No. 00-843.

Kennedy, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and Stevens, Scalia, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined, and in which Souter and Thomas, JJ., joined as to Parts I and III. Thomas, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Souter, J., joined, p. 347. O'Connor, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the cases.

Justice Kennedy, delivered the opinion of the Court.


Since the inception of cable television, cable companies have sought the means to run a wire into the home of each subscriber. They have found it convenient, and often essential, to lease space for their cables on telephone and electric utility poles. Utilities, in turn, have found it convenient to charge monopoly rents.

Congress first addressed these transactions in 1978, by enacting the Pole...

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