The particular Charter Transaction: Status Update

With the filing of the proposed Charter-Time Warner Cable-Bright Home Networks transaction, the FCC personnel went to work, first by critiquing the application for completeness and then, when it was officially accepted for consideration, by beginning the analysis associated with whether the proposed transaction meets the particular Commission’s public-interest standard.

Now, the personnel review enters its second stage, when others can contribute their own views to the Commission’s consideration. Today, the Media Bureau issued a Public Notice establishing the timeline for public comment, shortly after the particular Commission adopted a Protective Purchase to be used in the consideration of this deal.

The first set of public comments will be due on October 13, 2015 and today also marks the beginning of the alleged shot clock, which begins the particular 180-day period in which the Commission efforts to complete its review.

Comment is critical towards the Commission’s informed consideration but not information can, of course , be public. Certainly, the application itself, which is composed of details chosen by the Applicants, contains greater than 100 instances in which information is definitely asserted to be confidential or extremely confidential.

This is why the Commission adopted a protective order, which is the legal framework that protects sensitive details given to the Commission while permitting its review by appropriate representatives of third parties commenting around the transaction. In adopting that order today, the Commission both figured the use of this protective order greatest balances legitimate confidentiality interests with its desire to be informed by diverse opinions, and responded to the U. H. Court of Appeals for the Deb. C. Circuit’s CBS decision from earlier this year. In its opinion, the Courtroom called on the Commission to clarify its procedures for handling confidential information in Commission transaction reviews.

The particular adoption of the protective order is definitely separate from its execution, most notably the selection of confidential or highly confidential details to be governed by the protective order. That process has also begun; this Public Notice places the unredacted version of the application under the defensive order. But that is the only details that is currently subject to the defensive order.

The last point bears repeating. The particular Commission has yet to ask the Applicants or others to create any kind of video programming information with issue in the CBS TELEVISION STUDIOS decision, thus there’s not yet been any choice whether the Commission will collect such information. In the future, if the Commission personnel seeks such information, then the defensive order procedures ensure that any objecting programmers have ample opportunities to protect their interests before any information is made available under the protective order. However at the moment, all that is within the defensive order is the application itself.

The goal of the particular transaction review is both simple and profound: To assess whether the candidates have met their burden associated with demonstrating that the transaction is in the general public interest. The Commission conducts that work in close collaboration with the Department of Justice, in concert with the statutory command of the Communications Act and, as always, with a detailed analysis of the particular facts.


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