AT&T and Time Warner effectively cleared for deal by FCC’s Pai
Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai told The Wall Street Journal at MWC 2017 that he does not expect his agency to have any oversight role in telco conglomerate AT&T’s takeover bid for media giant Time Warner, likely because of the lack of license transfers involved in the process.
Time Warner, though, has decided to make sure of that by taking off its broadcast TV cap by selling WPCH-TV in Atlanta (formerly Ted Turner’s WTGS/WTBS) to Meredith Corporation. When pressed on whether Pai would take the opportunity to look at the AT&T buyout through the WPCH deal, Pai declined to comment.
The companies now face the bigger challenge of getting the Department of Justice to sign off on their union. It is reviewing documents and determining if a combined AT&T/Time Warner would hurt competition in the market. It may not announce a decision, though, until the senate is able to appoint an assistant attorney general that would head the anti-trust operations of the department.