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FCC Denies Challenges to Program Contract Access

The FCC has denied content companies objections to 245 individuals seeking to view programming contracts and other competitively sensitive documents submitted to the FCC as part of the reviews of the Comcast/Time Warner Cable and AT&T/DirecTV merger reviews.

The FCC said that for 235 of them, the objections provided no basis for rejecting them. In the case of the other 10, which include Free Press and other nonprofits, the FCC said that the objection failed on definitional grounds.

The content companies had argued that the documents should only be viewable by outside counsel or consultants, but the FCC said that outside counsel also applies to noncommercial entities not involved in decisionmaking—like negotiating programming contracts.

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