Common Carrier

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An individual or business that advertises to the public that it is available for hire to transport people or property in exchange for a fee.

A common carrier is legally bound to carry all passengers or freight as long as there is enough space, the fee is paid, and no reasonable grounds to refuse to do so exist. A common carrier that unjustifiably refuses to carry a particular person or cargo may be sued for damages.

The states regulate common carriers engaged in business within their borders. When interstate or foreign transportation is involved, the federal government, by virtue of the commerce clause of the Constitution, regulates the activities of such carriers. A common carrier may establish reasonable regulations for the efficient operation and maintenance of its business.

common carrier

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common carrier In the US, a private business or corporation that offers to the public general communication services such as telephone or intercomputer communications. Common carriers are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and all services offered must charge according to tariff schedules filed with and approved by the FCC.