Justice Department OK With Liberty-GCI Deal

The Justice Department is apparently OK with Liberty Interactive's proposed purchase of Alaska telecom GCI.

That came in an early termination notice released Thursday.

That means the DOJ has found no reason to try and block or condition the deal and put an early end to its Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust review.

The FCC must still weigh in on the deal. It goes beyond antitrust to look at the public interest impact of mergers in the communications space.

That review will not be concluded until at least next month. On May 19, the FCC created a pleading cycle for the deal, with comments due June 19 and reply comments due July 5.

The $1.1 billion deal was struck in April.

GCI has about 108,000 cable subscribers and is the state’s largest phone and wireless company. The deal was projected to close in early 2018.

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.