FCC Chairman Says Doesn't Expect Agency to Review AT&T-Time Warner

By Thomas Gryta Mergers and Acquisitions Dow Jones Newswires

An AT&T logo is seen at an AT&T store in New York City, October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith (Copyright Reuters 2016)

The Federal Communications Commission's new chairman, Ajit Pai, said he doesn't expect the agency to have a role in reviewing AT&T Inc.'s $85 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc. 

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In an interview Monday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Chairman Pai said he understands the companies have structured the deal so that no airwave licenses will be transferred, something that would trigger a broad FCC review. 

"That is the regulatory hook for FCC review," he said. "My understanding is that the deal won't be presented to the commission." 

That would leave the Justice Department as the sole federal agency reviewing the transaction. He said the FCC hasn't had any interaction with the DOJ concerning the deal. 

Last week, Time Warner agreed to sell its Atlanta television station to Meredith Corp. for $70 million, removing a factor that could have prompted an FCC review of the AT&T takeover. 

Write to Thomas Gryta at thomas.gryta@wsj.com

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