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Regulatory review of merger under discussion

Florida residents are quite used to mergers of large companies happening as they seem to take place quite frequently. These mergers or acquisitions also happen across virtually any type of industry. Some may involve companies only in Florida while others may involve companies that operate on a national level. Different mergers are subject to different types of reviews and approvals.

Two entities that often get involved in mergers depending upon the industries involved are the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. If the DOJ believes that a proposed transaction would be in violation of the nation's antitrust laws, it may seek to initiate legal proceedings to stop the merger from happening. In these cases, the DOJ has the responsibility of proving that the merger should not happen. The FCC can also try to block a merger but would do so if it believes consumers would not be well-served by it. In these cases, it is the merging companies that must prove the benefit of the proposed merger.

A buyout of Time Warner Inc. is potentially underway by AT&T. At one point, AT&T indicated it believed the FCC may not be involved and any review would only be by the DOJ however other sources indicate that is not so. This may be in part due to the fact that Time Warner Inc. does have assets with licenses governed by the FCC.

Watching how mergers succeed or fail can be interesting indeed. Floridians interested in these transactions may find it useful to work with an attorney when approaching these deals.

 

Source: ARS Technica, "AT&T/Time Warner deal could be approved without any FCC merger review," Jon Brodkin, Oct. 24, 2016

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