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FOLLOWING THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY AND RELATED LEGAL TOPICS

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Our Take On The Adelphia/Comcast/Time Warner Deal

This morning, the FCC is expected to approve the acquisition of Adelphia's assets by Comcast and Time Warner. Our sources tell us that the deal will be approved with at least two conditions:

- Comcast and Time Warner will be barred from entering exclusive arrangements for regional sports programming, except in Philadelphia (Comcast owns that network)

- Competing video providers also will be able to file for binding arbitration if they can't otherwise get programming deals with Comcast or Time Warner.

All and all, it looks like the primary winner of the merger conditions effort will be DirecTV and other DBS providers.

In the order, we'll be paying particular attention to the FCC's analysis of "merger harm" and how the Commission expects the adopted conditions will alleviate that harm. In its past precedent, the FCC has stated that it will only adopt conditions designed to alleviate specific harms that may result from a combination.

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