WASHINGTON — Mark S. Fowler, a champion of deregulation during more than five years as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, announced Friday that he will step down this spring.
Fowler said he sent a letter to the White House informing President Reagan of his decision to resign, saying, "I have served longer than any other chairman. Now, it is time for me to move along." Fowler said that leaving his position in the spring "will give sufficient time for a successor to be named to my seat." He said he had no plans for the future, adding that "it would not be appropriate to think of that until near the end" of his stay at the FCC.
Fowler, 45, who was named to the five-member commission as chairman in May, 1981, headed the regulatory agency during the breakup of American Telephone & Telegraph, which began an era of competition in the telephone industry.
In his letter to Reagan, Fowler said he has been guided during his tenure by the idea of freedom: "freedom of the marketplace--the right to compete freely, the right to choose among goods and services, and freedom of the marketplace of ideas."