The commissioners, Republicans Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly, issued a joint statement to make their views known.
“We are deeply dismayed that the FCC’s leadership seems unwilling to begin the formal review of the Charter Communications/Time Warner Cable/Bright House Networks transaction until Commissioners agree to change the FCC’s procedures for protecting confidential information,” they stated.
“We don’t plan to allow this maneuver to deter us from giving careful scrutiny to the important item in front of us, which if adopted, would apply not only to future transactions but all Commission proceedings.”
They continued, “Among other things, we believe that the better course would be for the Commission to seek public input on these proposed procedures before moving ahead.”
They concluded, “Thus, while we are still reviewing the order on circulation, we believe that the Commission should follow the direction that the D.C. Circuit previously provided in a similar case: ‘The agency has access to the relevant documents at issue in this matter and can continue to evaluate the proposed merger….’ So let’s start the ‘aspirational’ merger review shot clock and get on with the process.”