In Australia, 2Day FM has applied to the Federal Court to restrain the ACMA from continuing to investigate the Royal Prank call.
The move to the Australian Communications and Media Authority comes immediately after the watchdog gave the station their preliminary findings.
2Day FM say: “the ACMA has no power to make such a finding”
The full statements from the ACMA and SCA are below :-
In December 2012, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) commenced an investigation into the broadcast, by Today FM (Sydney) Pty Ltd (Today FM), of a prank telephone call between presenters of Today FM’s ‘Summer 30′ program and nurses at King Edward VII Hospital in London.
The ACMA’s investigation is considering (among other matters) whether, in broadcasting that telephone call, Today FM breached the condition of its licence that a licensee must not use its broadcasting service in the commission of an offence (clause 8(1)(g) of Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992).
In particular, the ACMA is considering whether Today FM breached clause 8(1)(g) of Schedule 2 by broadcasting, in contravention of section 11(1) of the Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (NSW), a recording of the telephone call.
On 18 June 2013, in response to the ACMA’s preliminary findings on this issue, Today FM applied to the Federal Court for orders restraining the ACMA from continuing the investigation and making a finding that Today FM breached that condition.
The ACMA intends to contest Today FM’s application.
As this matter is before the Federal Court, the ACMA will not be making any further comment at this time about the investigation or the proceedings. A backgrounder to the regulatory framework for this matter was issued with the announcement of the investigation and can be found here.
Today FM has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court which seek to prevent the ACMA making any finding that Today FM has breached a condition of its broadcasting licence. Today FM considers that the ACMA has no power to make such a finding. The ACMA has no power to investigate whether the recording of a telephone call breaches State or Federal laws and the agencies which do have that power have not conducted an investigation or sought any information from Today FM. Today FM also considers that the recording of the prank call did not breach any law.
As the issue of the power of the ACMA to make a finding of a licence condition breach will now be decided by the Federal Court Today FM will not make any further comment.
The case is listed for a directions hearing in Sydney at 9.30am on July 17, according to Federal Court documents.
This article first appeared on RadioToday.com.au