FCC Halts US ‘Super-Mergers’

Significant acquisition deals in the USA have been put on hold by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The organisation has stopped its 180-day review schedules for the mergers of AT&T and DirecTV, and Comcast and Time Warner Cable, citing concerns about transparency.

The deals between the merging companies and content providers, such as CBS and Walt Disney, are the issue. AT&T et al. want these contracts kept secret; however, FCC media bureau chief William Lake said, “[The] current inability to review highly confidential information that has been submitted in these dockets significantly hampers [commenters’] ability to meaningfully comment and participate in these proceedings”.

Concerns have also been raised about the lack of competition, and the inability for smaller rivals to compete, in TV and internet provisions following the mergers.