FCC halts US ‘super mergers’
October 23, 2014
By Chris Forrester
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) pulled the plug on a pair of cable and DTH ‘super mergers’. The FCC cited a series of significant objections from broadcasters and content suppliers to the cablecos who do not want their confidential carriage fee contracts exposed.
The decision directly affects the AT&T proposed merger with DirecTV, as well as Comcast’s merger with Time Warner Cable.
The objections have flowed from CBS, Disney, Scripps, Time Warner’s content division, 21st Century Fox, Univision and Viacom, amongst a long list.
The FCC had attempted to modify its requests for information in an attempt to maintain broadcaster’s confidential contract information with the MSOs, but the trickle of objections became a flood with more than 100 separate objections being filed.
The FCC says it has now stopped the clock on the usual 180-day ‘decision’ rule and is suspending the filing cycle until it makes a ruling on how it will address the objectors’ grumbles.