Court Stays FCC Order on Merger Contracts

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia says the FCC can't make Comcast/Time Warner Cable and AT&T/DirecTV programming contracts available to third parties just yet.

A three-judge panel of the court—Judges Brett Kavanaugh, Cornelia Pillard and Judith Rogers—Friday (Nov. 14) granted at least a brief stay of the FCC's Nov. 10 order that would have allowed the commission to start making the contracts, memos, e-mails and other documents available starting Monday (Nov. 17) at 3 p.m..

The court said it wanted more time to consider the motion and that the stay—which was literally a "brief" stay because it was to allow for briefs to be filed—should not be construed as a ruling on the merits of the stay. So, the court's stay was on its own motion, rather than in response to the content companies' request for the stay.

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.