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FCC: Stay of Protective Orders Could Impact Deal Outcome

The FCC told a federal court Monday (Nov. 17) that granting a stay to programmers of its decision to allow third party vetting of contract documents could not only delay a decision on the Comcast/Time Warner Cable and AT&T/DirecTV deals beyond a current "early spring" timetable for completion, but could impact the decision on whether they are approved or denied.  

"Staying the order pending appeal will materially disrupt the current schedule for the Commission’s expeditious review and resolution of the proposed mergers, and by itself, could impact the outcome of these applications," FCC general counsel Jonathan Sallet to the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.  

Sallet said the modified protections of competitively sensitive merger documents it wants to make available to hundreds of outside parties are robust, while allowing those parties to "participate effectively" in the reviews. 

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