This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

The Deal: Sprint Deal Prompts New Call for FCC Timing Rules

In its order approving SoftBank's application, the FCC noted that it disregarded a request by satellite TV carrier Dish Network (DISH - Get Report), which was pushing a rival bid for Sprint, to subject the June 10 revised merger agreement to a new round of public comment, an action that would have added at least a couple of months to the investigation.

The FCC frequently takes a less-than-exacting approach to its 180-day merger review timetable. The FCC's January 2011 approval of Comcast (CMCSA - Get Report)'s $30 billion takeover of NBC Universal came 234 days after the commission's investigation commenced, and that's not including 43 days when the count was suspended. In January 2013 the commission approved Liberty Media's (LMCA) request for control of Sirius XM (SIRI) after considering the deal for 279 days.

Since joining the commission in May 2012, Pai has made a priority of shortening the time the commission takes on all types of proceedings. In February he told the Federal Communications Bar Association that the commission should codify the merger review shot clock and create an online dashboard of the FCC's performance in other proceedings. A former staffer in the General Counsel's office, Pai said at the time there were more than 100 items pending before the commission, many of them stalled indefinitely.

Other critics of the FCC's merger review process have long called for the agency to be bound by strict timing rules similar to the obligations that ostensibly cover antitrust merger reviews conducted by the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice. However, the antitrust agencies have substantial leeway to extend merger reviews beyond their statutory limits.

Those agencies are given only 30 days under the Hart-Scott-Rodino act to decide to clear a deal or subject it to a longer review by issuing a second request for information but can prod merging parties to reset the clock by withdrawing and refiling their merger notification documents. Once the merging parties have certified compliance with a second request, the antitrust regulators again have only 30 days to approve the deal or challenge it in court. The agencies, however, can refuse to certify that the second request has been fully satisfied or can pressure the merging parties to enter a timing agreement not to close the deal until a later date.

Written by Bill McConnell
2 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
CMCSA $61.23 0.00%
DISH $48.92 0.00%
LMCA $18.75 0.00%
S $3.49 0.00%
AAPL $93.64 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,891.16 +117.52 0.66%
S&P 500 2,081.43 +16.13 0.78%
NASDAQ 4,817.5940 +42.2360 0.88%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs