Can AT&T Acquire Time Warner Without FCC Oversight?

  • By: Staff Editor
  • Date: October 24, 2016
  • Source:
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Can AT&T Acquire Time Warner Without FCC Oversight?

Given the ocean of differences between AT&T and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), be it in conforming to regulatory protocols or in legal disputes, the telecommunications giant seeks to acquire Time Warner, without FCC oversight. A media merger of mighty proportions sans the regulatory agency at its heels has raised questions aplenty – with guarded responses from both sides regarding its execution.

The world’s largest telecommunications company by revenue, AT&T has had quite a few run-ins with the FCC:

  • AT&T has censured several FCC agendas, including new broadband privacy regulations, reforms to the data services market, and a proposal to eliminate pay-TV set top boxes.
  • Along with others, AT&T sued the FCC in 2015 in a bid to block President Obama's ruling that barred internet service providers from hindering consumer access to web content.
  • FCC proposed to penalize AT&T's mobility unit the same year for misleading consumers about mobile data plans.

Media and Communications Regulators

The FCC’s domain over interstate communications by wire, radio, television, satellite, and cable in all 50 states ensured its pivotal role in Comcast's takeover of NBC Universal in 2011 - the last merger between two media and communications giants – reviewed by both the FCC and the Justice Department.

The FCC’s rules and regulations are located in Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

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