Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

FCC Approves Merger for Adelphia, Time Warner, Comcast

By a vote of 4 to 1, the FCC has given a go-ahead to a sale of the assets of bankrupt Adelphia Communications Corporation to Time Warner and Comcast. Below is the news release from the FCC website.

Washington, DC – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today approved the sale of substantially all of the cable systems and assets of Adelphia Communications Corporation to Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corporation, the exchange of certain cable systems and assets between affiliates or subsidiaries of Time Warner and Comcast, and the redemption of Comcast’s interests in Time Warner Cable and Time Warner Entertainment Company.

In reaching its decision, the FCC found that the transactions, as conditioned, serve the public interest and comply with all applicable statutes and Commission rules.  The Commission also found that the potential public interest harms of the transactions, as conditioned, are outweighed by the potential public interest benefits. 

With respect to benefits, the Commission determined that subscribers would benefit from the resolution of the Adelphia bankruptcy proceeding in the form of new investment and upgrades to the network. Additionally, the transactions would accelerate deployment of VoIP and other advanced video services, such as local VOD programming, to subscribers.

    

With respect to the potential harms, the Commission found that the proposed transactions may increase the likelihood of harm in markets in which Time Warner or Comcast has, or may in the future have, an ownership interest in Regional Sports Networks (“RSNs”).  The Commission imposed remedial conditions, the same as those imposed in the News Corp.-Hughes order to address its concerns.     

The Commission adopted further conditions to ensure that the transactions will not harm the supply of programming to MVPDs.  Specifically, the Commission adopted a condition allowing unaffiliated RSNs unable to reach a carriage agreement with Time Warner or Comcast to seek commercial arbitration.  In addition, the Commission adopted a condition allowing unaffiliated programmers unable to reach a leased access agreement with Time Warner or Comcast to seek commercial arbitration.

Read the further conditions here.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/media_law_prof_blog/2006/07/fcc_approves_me.html

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