FTC, DOJ Give Liberty-GCI Deal Antitrust OK

The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have no antitrust issues with John Malone’s (Liberty Interactive) deal to buy Alaskan cable and phone company General Communication Inc.

That came in an early termination notice from the FTC Wednesday, which means that the feds have closed their antitrust review ofthe $1.1 billion deal without recommending either blocking or conditioning it.

The FCC still has to weigh in with its separate public-interest take on the deal. The commission looks beyond antitrust issues to the potential benefits of a merger. The companies have said they expect the deal to close by first quarter 2018.

GCIhas about 108,000 cable sub in Alaska and is the state’s largest telephone and wireless company.

(Photo via Jeff Kubina's FlickrImage taken on June 20, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 16x9 aspect ratio.)

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.