Comcast-Time Warner merger delayed

Investors and local residents may be interested in the latest news related to the proposed Comcast-Time Warner merger. Regulators in New York have chosen to delay their decision on the proposal until Nov. 13. The New York Public Service Commission was initially scheduled to review the deal on Oct 2. Without a mutually agreed-upon extension, transactions may automatically be granted if regulators fail to make a decision within the 120-day timed period mandated by federal law. However, Comcast and the commission agreed to delay the review in a filing dated Sept. 26.

The commission has the authority to reject the merger and could potentially influence other states' decisions as well. Approximately 2.2 million customers in New York could be affected by the merger. A PSC representative attested that the proposed cable merger has been one of the most polarizing proceedings in the agency's history, generating nearly 3,000 comments from the public living in the country's third-most-populated state. Comcast and the PSC agreed on filing an extension of the review period due to the possible impact and scale of the merger.

The potential cable merger has been valued at approximately $45.2 billion. Some PSC staff members have recommended that the deal not be approved unless Comcast retains the employees in New York, improves broadband speeds and customer service, eases enrollment standards providing high-speed Internet to low-income families and expands into more rural regions. This would cost the company about $300 million.

Corporations interested in acquisitions or mergers typically enlist legal counsel for guidance before making any final decisions. Legal representation may be effective in helping corporate officers assess risk by providing a more informed and objective perspective. Lawyers might help safeguard the business's interests by ensuing that the appropriate provisions are included in any new contracts, transactions or partnerships.

Source: Bloomberg, " N.Y. Pushes Comcast-Time Warner Ruling Back One Month ", Freeman Klopott, September 29, 2014

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