Will a Fox, Time Warner Deal Be Approved?

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July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth and Harvard Law School Visiting Professor Susan Crawford discuss regulatory hurdles facing a Twenty-First Century Fox and Time Warner deal. He speaks on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Have to worry about?

Yes, i think if the deal goes forward, there will be a lot of issues outside of cnn.

A lot will depend on how the antitrust agencies define the relevant markets.

This is lovers to the other assets that time warner and the others have.

Talk to us about some of the legal framework with which the fcc will look at this.

Well, the fcc will look at this.

Candidly, i don't think they have any legal foundation to look at it at all.

These are two entities that are heavily regulated by the fcc.

They will take a good hard look at it and see how they will be able to affect the deal.

They will do what is called the standard, the amorphous term.

This is whatever the fcc decides to do.

I looked very heavy lee at the cable programming.

They will look at the bargaining power and negotiations between the cable distributors.

This is driving a lot of the recent mergers.

Certainly, comcast, time warner, at&t, directv and is very much about seeing who can have a lot of bargaining power, negotiations between distribution and content origination.

The fcc is looking at comcast.

I want to bring in susan from harvard law, the visiting professor and the author of " captive audience." how does this strike you from a regulatory perspective aside from the issue of cnn in presumably would be sold anyway?

This is being driven by enormous concentration on distribution.

Hollywood is scared, seen that comcast is likely able to merge with time warner cable.

A need a lot of half on their side to negotiate.

Don't you think is is driven by hollywood, not by cable?


This is driven by the programming industry.

This is to make sure that people can reach their programming without whatever comcast, time warner, whoever wants them to pay for attribute.

If hbo can go over the top by themselves, they need to be able to be sure that it can reach subscribers.

That is only going to happen if they have enough power to make that true.

Why do you think that the fcc shouldn't be looking at this?

It is one of my personal views that the fcc does not have the authority to review mergers.

The american public is well served by two antitrust agencies, the department of justice and the federal trade commission.

You have hundreds of hard-working civil servants who work at these agencies, they do a wonderful job at reviewing mergers.

We don't need the fcc to review it as well.

How do you see this playing out?

Time warner has said they don't want to consider this when other potential bidders are dealing with other acquisitions, also verizon potentially.

How does this actually play out?

Jeff up-ice has to be nervous because comcast, time warner cable him if it goes through, they will control about 70% of american households.

They will be the only choice for high-speed data distributions.

If he wants to make sure that hbo can get there, he has to worry about being acquired by comcast.

Their only a few players left on the board with him he can deal.

Why should or should not the fcc be involved?

Harold, when he was a commissioner, voted to approve all of the megamergers that have gone through in the last few decades and during his time.

He presided over in part enormous consolidation in the industry.

The fcc's broad public interest mandate allows it to look out for the future of american medications.

That is it short in early important.

-- the fcc's broad public interest mandate allows it to look out for the future of american communications.

Do you see this triggering a spate of megamergers?

Is hard to predict the future, and it's hard to know whether there are future large mergers down the road.

Thank you for noting my tenure on the commission but she did not mention that i dissented from every condition on every merger.

This was on the grounds that the fcc had no authority to actually review the mergers writ large.

I do agree that the fcc has the authority to review the transfer of licenses just as it does for the hundreds of thousands of licensed transfers that happened every year.

What i wonder from you is what are the issues that the fcc specifically what address that the ftc and the justice department doesn't? well, they can speak about the future of over-the-top video.

Right now, they're looking at the interconnections between the netflix network, the types of wires they used to reach comcast subscribers.

Having expertise in that issue will help them evaluating whether time warner in the future, as a programming company, will have the freedom to reach subscribers.

So come it gets to look at the entire ecosystem of information and explore the deal through that lens.

Well, a lot of unknowns in the which is how regulators will handle this.

Thank you so much

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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