Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

FCC to Act on Adelphia Deal in July

On June 21, Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin said that the agency would likely act on the acquisition of Adelphia Communications Corp. (“Adelphia”) by Time Warner Inc. (“Time Warner”) and Comcast Corp. (“Comcast”) in mid-July. Martin indicated the mid-July action in comments to reporters following the agency's public meeting, stating “I think the commission will try to address it by the middle of July.” Time Warner and Comcast have agreed to buy bankrupt Adelphia's 5 million cable subscribers in a $16.9 billion transaction. The Federal Trade Commission approved the deal without conditions in January. The FCC has had the merger under review for 382 days, but only since June 1 has Martin had a 3-2 Republican majority. Opponents of the deal have called on the FCC to impose a host of conditions, including access to regional sports programming owned or controlled by Time Warner and Comcast.