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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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.