FCC Creates Comcast/TWC Merger Docket

The FCC's Media Bureau has already created the docket for its review of the proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, even though Comcast has yet to file for the license transfers and offered up its public interest statement and voluntary conditions.

That will likely come next week, but a source at the FCC said it is not unusual for the FCC to create the docket and issue the joint protective order, as it did Friday.

The docket is 14-57.

The joint protective order adopts procedures for limiting access to proprietary and or competitively sensitive info submitted by both parties as part of the FCC review. Getting the docket setup early and the protective ground rules set is a way for the FCC to encourage the parties to provide as much info as possible right out of the gate, and was described as a typical procedure.

"We anticipate that such information will be necessary to develop a more complete record on which to base the Commission’s decision. While we are mindful of the sensitive nature of such information, we are also mindful of the right of the public to participate in this proceeding in a meaningful way," FCC Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake said. "Consistent with past practice, therefore, we will make such information available to participants in this proceeding pursuant to a protective order and, in the case of Highly Confidential Information, we will limit such access to their Outside Counsel of Record and Outside Consultants who are retained to assist them in this proceeding, and employees of such Outside Counsel and Outside Consultants."

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.