The author's focus is upon an opinion of the United States Supreme Court which silently extended first amendment freedoms to a corporate monopoly. The majority attempts a balancing of the monopoly utility's freedom of speech against the state's protection of the privacy interests of the ratepayers and finds the privacy interest not to be so compelling as to justify any restriction on freedom of speech. The author suggests that the privacy interest is so substantial as to be compelling and further agrees with the dissent, that because of the special position of the Consolidated Edison Company as a monopoly and its rate structure, the ratepayers are a captive audience who are compelled to subsidize the utility's opinions.
Lynn K. Warren
Consolidated Edison Company of New York v. Public Service Commission: Freedom of Speech Extended to Monopolies - Is There No Escape for the Consumer?,
8 Pepp. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/plr/vol8/iss4/7