Stock prices of major broadcast networks fell after news broke of the FCC’s plan to scrap the open Internet rules that prevent internet providers from blocking or slowing down access to certain websites.
NBCUniversal (NWS), CBS (CBS) and TWCS stock all lost about 4.7%, while Fox, ABC and Fox News fell 5%.
CBS stock, which was up 7% before the news broke, ended the day down 3%.
The news is expected to prompt a major selloff in the stock market for the next two days, according to CNBC.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.9%, while the S&P 500 fell 2.2%.NBCUniversal (NYSE:NWS) stock fell about 9% in premarket trading on Thursday, the most for the company since February 2016.
The news of the plan, announced last week, was met with mixed reaction from investors.
While some were pleased the FCC was moving to scrap net neutrality rules, others were concerned that it could have negative impacts on the entertainment industry, according, CNBC.
“We were expecting that the FCC would be moving towards a ‘neutral’ plan, but that they didn’t actually follow through,” said Mark Cohen, an analyst at Cowen & Fitzgerald.
“They could have gotten a lot more done.”ABC shares were down 1.3% and CBS stock fell 1.1%.
The stock market has gained more than 3% this year, but it is still less than half the pace of the Dow Jones.
The FCC voted 3-2 on Wednesday to scrap a 2015 Open Internet Order, which had mandated internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all websites equally, as well as block websites deemed harmful or illegal.
That would have allowed internet service provider providers to pay for prioritized access to the sites they want, rather than paying content providers like Google and Facebook.
The ruling, however, was not without controversy.
Some ISPs argued that the net neutrality order was too restrictive, and that it would force them to pay more for prioritization of their customers’ internet traffic.
In a statement on Thursday morning, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said he was “deeply disappointed by the FCC announcement, which is the wrong course for America’s economy, the right course for the internet and the right outcome for consumers.”
The company’s stock is up 5.2% this week.
The TWCS is up 4.4%.
The FCC announced the plan in March, which went into effect in 2018.
The FCC’s order said ISPs could block or throttle access to websites that had violated the FCC order.
The rules, however do not apply to content providers that are not owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable (TWC), Charter Communications (CHTR), Cox Communications (CMCSA) or Comcast.
It also doesn’t apply to providers that do not own the networks they offer.
The repeal of the Open Internet order is expected on Monday, which could make it harder for the FCC to move forward with the plan.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected next week to announce a new net neutrality plan that would also prohibit internet service companies from blocking websites or slowing them down.
The announcement could give companies like Comcast and Verizon a more powerful hand in regulating internet access, which has been dominated by cable companies in recent years.