A PYMNTS Company

US: Programmers win stay of FCC document order

 |  November 25, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission was dealt a blow last Friday when an appeals court in Washington, D.C. granted several major programmers’ emergency request to delay the FCC’s order for document disclosures, say reports.

Programmers including Time Warner, Univision and CBS took the FCC to court over the order, which demanded that the companies make their TV contracts available to third parties part of an examination into two proposed mergers: Comcast’s plans to acquire Time Warner Cable, and AT&T’s plans to acquire DirecTV.

While the FCC argues that third-party access to those documents is crucial for a complete review of the deals, the programmers claim that the contracts contain market-sensitive information.

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted the programmers’ emergency stay; the two sides could possibly now litigate the dispute.

But experts say it is unclear how the FCC will proceed with the matter. While the regulator’s merger reviews have already been delayed because of the dispute, reports say moving forward with litigation could further delays in the investigations. The FCC could drop the dispute and continue the merger reviews without requiring that the contracts be made public, but the regulator has not commented on the matter.

Full content: Wall Street Journal

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.