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FCC halts cable merger to resolve stakeholder concerns

The proposed merger between major cable companies Time Warner Cable Inc. and Comcast is reportedly on hold after the Federal Communications Commission halted the process to deal with important issues related to programming agreements. For readers who don’t know, the mega-merger—which was announced in February—has become a source of contention among consumers, who feel the deal will have a negative impact on them.

As of now, the companies are awaiting approval from both the Federal Communications Commission and The Department of Justice. The latest development has to do with opposition from content companies who say they are concerned that their deals with cable and satellite-TV companies are at risk of becoming exposed due to the way the FCC’s filing processes work for the merger. Though shareholders from both companies approved the merger earlier this month, it isn’t clear how successful the deal with be. 

Getting mergers and acquisitions right is not an easy task. By this we mean not only the short-term success of a deal but also the long-term success—whether or not the deal has an ultimately positive impact. Many factors go into making a deal successful, some of which are not completely controllable.

In planning out successful mergers and acquisitions, businesses must take into account not only things like market and production similarity and complementarily, but also things like the size and cultural differences between the companies, as well as relative experience in acquisitions, not to mention financial considerations pertaining to the deal itself. All of this is a lot to map out, and it requires careful planning.

Businesses considering the prospect of a merger or acquisition should be sure to work with an experienced attorney when approaching the process. There is too much at stake to fail to put in the time and planning necessary to ensure a successful project.

Source: Bisnessetc.com, “Comcast-Time Warner Merger: Too Complex To Be Completed?,” October 27, 2014. 

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