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Cable industry merger seeking approval from overburdened FCC

New York business owners may be interested in the regulatory issues that two corporations are dealing with in their attempt to merge. The leader of one of the companies remains positive, however, that the government agency charged with approving the merger will do so by the end of 2014.

Cable industry giants Time Warner Cable and Comcast are seeking a merger, which will require Federal Communications Commission approval before moving forward. However, in a letter to Time Warner Cable employees, TWC CEO Rob Marcus noted that the FCC's full schedule may delay any progress on the merger's approval and finalization. Several factors may play into the delay, including the ongoing national debate about net neutrality, a proposed acquisition of DirecTV by AT&T and the auction of parts of the wireless spectrum. These issues, Marcus says, along with the ongoing question of whether or not industry consolidation is beneficial, could contribute to the delay.

However, the two cable companies have already held at least 40 meetings on the subject of integrating their businesses. Marcus says that progress on the integration has been going well even though there is still uncertainty about whether the government will allow the merger. The two companies are hoping to have the deal closed by the end of 2014. The public comment period on the proposed merger ends in September, after which the FCC will move forward with the decision-making process.

In business acquisition and merger situations like this, a business and commercial law attorney may be necessary. The attorney may be able to help the company understand and navigate the regulatory process and negotiate the terms of the deal. The attorney might then be able to draft the necessary agreements that go along with acquiring a new business.

Source: Capital New York, "Time Warner Cable C.E.O.: F.C.C. workload may delay Comcast merger", Alex Weprin, July 24, 2014

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