×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

MediaOne fits cap, AT&T says

Conglom will cover 27% of U.S. cable subs

WASHINGTON — AT&T has told the FCC that the agency’s new rules allow the conglom to complete its merger with MediaOne without spinning off its stake in Time Warner or Liberty Media.

AT&T argues that its acquisition of MediaOne will leave it with a hold on 27% of the nation’s cable subscribers — clearly below the FCC’s 30% ownership cap. It also insists that the new rules allow it to hold a 25.5% stake in Time Warner Entertainment without counting any of TWE’s subscribers toward AT&T’s cap.

According to AT&T, the merger will give it 21.9 million subs — 27% of the 81.4 million U.S. homes that subscribe to some form of TV service, including cable and satellite.

AT&T maintains that the FCC’s rules allow it to own a huge stake in the second-largest cable company in the country because it is “not materially involved in the video-programming activities” of TWE.

Public interest advocates and some officials at the FCC have argued that Time Warner’s 13 million subscribers should be counted toward AT&T’s cap. Doing so would put AT&T over the 30% national cap and force it to sell off MediaOne’s stake in Time Warner in order to complete the deal.

AT&T also insists that its ownership of Liberty Media does not present a problem under the FCC’s new ownership rules.

FCC staffers, however, have expressed some concern about the telco-cable giant controlling one of the most powerful cable programming companies along with the largest single holding of cable subs.

FCC staffers will be taking a particularly close look at the possibility that AT&T’s ownership of Liberty could influence program-buying decisions at Time Warner. Well aware of the FCC’s concern, AT&T lawyers insisted that “Liberty is structurally separate from AT&T.”

AT&T insists that it has no control over management decisions or programming sales at Liberty. “AT&T literally has nothing to do with and derives no economic benefit from any such sale,” wrote AT&T.

More Biz

  • Kevin Tsujihara

    Kevin Tsujihara Out as Warner Bros. Chief Amid Sexual Impropriety Scandal

    Kevin Tsujihara has resigned his post as chairman-CEO of Warner Bros. following an investigation into his relationship with actress Charlotte Kirk and allegations he used his clout to help her find work at the studio. In a statement, Tsujihara said he realized “my continued leadership could be a distraction and an obstacle to the company’s [...]

  • TV Ad Sales Upfronts

    NBCUniversal, Sky Make Joint Ad Offering As TV Upfront Looms

    NBCUniversal and Sky PLC will offer joint packages of advertising services, a new effort to monetize the European satellite broadcaster, which was purchased by parent Comcast Corp. for $39 billion last year. Advertisers will be able to reach customers in sundry international markets as well as the United States, using inventory across NBCU and Sky [...]

  • Robert Iger and Rupert Murdochcredit: Disney

    Wall Street Applauds as Disney Nears Finish Line on Fox Acquisition

    Wall Street is rooting for Disney as the media giant reaches the finish line this week in its 15-month quest to acquire most of Rupert Murdoch’s film and TV empire. Fox shareholders, on the other hand, are being a little more cautious. Disney is poised to close the $71.3 billion deal that took many twists [...]

  • Sony Music Names Amanda Collins Head

    Sony Music Names Amanda Collins Global Head of Corporate Communications

    Amanda Collins has been named executive vice president and global head of corporate communications for Sony Music Entertainment, effective immediately, it was announced today by CEO Rob Stringer. According to the announcement, in this role she will be responsible for the company’s global internal and external communications strategy and its implementation around the world, working [...]

  • Trocadero

    Philadelphia’s Iconic Trocadero Theatre to Close, Owner Confirms (EXCLUSIVE)

    After several days of rumors and a last-minute attempt by local promoters to save it, Philadelphia’s Trocadero Theatre — part of the city’s entertainment skyline since 1870 — is closing at the end of May, owner Joanna Pang confirms to Variety. The last of the city’s mid-sized independent live venues, the 1,200-capacity Chinatown performance palace [...]

  • FilMart: China's Times Vision Steps Into

    FilMart: Arthouse Distributor Times Vision Steps Into Sales (EXCLUSIVE)

    This year’s FilMart marks the international sales debut of Beijing-based distributor Times Vision, which brings to Hong Kong a slate led by crime thriller “Savage” and animated feature “Nezha.” The company will be presenting nine live action films, including one documentary, and seven animated titles. Times Vision is led by CEO Nathan Hao, who co-founded [...]

  • Kyle MasseyDDJF Costume for a Cause

    Kyle Massey Sued for Allegedly Sending Explicit Photos, Texts to Minor

    Former “That’s So Raven” star Kyle Massey is being sued for allegedly sending explicit photo, texts, and videos to a 13-year-old girl, court documents filed Friday show. The complaint is for intentional infliction of emotional distress, harmful matter sent with intention of seducing a minor, attempting to commit a lewd act with a minor, and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content