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FCC Helps AT&T And Time Warner Avoid Lengthy Merger Review

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FCC Helps AT&T And Time Warner Avoid Lengthy Merger Review

Postby sunnyd » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:41 pm

Story :

The Federal Communications Commission has helped clear the path for AT&T to buy Time Warner Inc. without a lengthy public-interest review.

The FCC conducts public-interest reviews of mergers when FCC licenses are transferred, but AT&T and Time Warner have been trying to structure their $85.4 billion deal to avoid direct transfer of any licenses. That means Time Warner has to get rid of its FCC licenses, including one for a TV station in Atlanta, before it's swallowed up by AT&T.

The FCC helped Time Warner achieve that this week by approving a sale of its WPCH-TV license in Atlanta for $70 million to Meredith Corp., which was already operating the station for Time Warner under a separate agreement.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has said the commission does not have "the legal authority to review the [AT&T/Time Warner] transaction" because AT&T isn't taking over any Time Warner licenses, despite pushback from Senate Democrats and the FCC's lone Democrat, Mignon Clyburn.

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