& cplSiteName &

Comcast Filings Show Merger Confidence

Mari Silbey
6/5/2014
50%
50%

Although the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable is still under regulatory review, that hasn't stopped Comcast from trying to push critical paperwork through ahead of the deal's approval.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) filed a slew of application requests with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Wednesday for the transfer of control or assignment of satellite earth station licenses in numerous markets. Most such requests are typical and routine in merger cases and thus draw little attention.

But the most interesting thing about these filings is that they suggest Comcast is confident enough of its proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) to start making operational moves in advance of regulatory approval. The FCC hasn't signed off on these requests, but with the paperwork already filed, it will be easier to do so if and when the merger goes through. A decision from regulators is expected by the end of 2014 or early 2015.

Some of the requests appear to be for transfers from Comcast back to itself. For instance, consider the case of a request for a license transfer from Comcast New Mexico… to Comcast New Mexico.

However, other filings point to Comcast transferring licenses to new entities in markets where the company has agreed to spin off customers if its purchase of Time Warner Cable passes muster. For example, Comcast of Mt. Clemens in Indiana is seeking to transfer its license to Midwest Cable of Muncie. Comcast of Minnesota is looking to do the same with Midwest Cable of Minnesota. Both markets are areas where Comcast plans to divest customers to a new cable entity with Charter Communications Inc. if its deal with Time Warner goes through. (See Charter/Comcast Tap Willner for Spinoff.)

The law firm of Bennet & Bennet noted similar activity from Comcast and Time Warner Cable in April, declaring that "The applicants' filing dismisses various concerns regarding competition." The firm represents cable, telecommunications, and broadcasters, and says its attorneys have experience "working at rural associations such as the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (Opastco) and the NTCA - The Rural Broadband Association ."

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/7/2014 | 2:07:23 PM
Re: Homework and IR
Wow, this is a little confusing to the average person what the paper-shuffling really means. But it would seem that Comcast is feeling pretty good about what its lawyers are telling it about the merger. 

I can only imagine that this is going to create a more competitive envronment in the broadband business. This is making me hopeful we'll see the kind of competition that will in turn lower subscription expenses. 
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/6/2014 | 11:32:30 AM
Re: Homework and IR
With forty lobbying firms currently working on this and nearly every politician with the remotest oversight into the approval process receiving oodles of Comcast cash, I'd suggest that Comcast was about as prepared as they could be:

 

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/206891-comcast-goes-for-shock-and-awe#.U34zCphEJd0.twitter

 

I'm guessing it may be the only one of the big three mega mergers to get approval because there's no elimination of a direct competitor.
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/6/2014 | 10:17:46 AM
Re: Homework and IR
Good points. The public relations angle is certainly important for Comcast to show a "good guy" face to the public as well and the commission. Whether the activity is actually some generous move on Comcast's part of just a giveaway to gain the real big prize is left to one's imagination.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/6/2014 | 3:36:36 AM
Homework and IR
On the one hand, this just goes to show that Comcast has done it's homework.  It's symptomatic of the amount of preparation they have put into the deal to begin with to make sure it gets approved.

And on another hand still, it's all just PR/IR.  They need to make sure that their stock price stays pumped.  Pussyfooting around the merger and taking few to no advance steps would have analysts downgrading them, no doubt.
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Selfie Game Strong Click Here
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives