Time Warner Cable spin-off approved

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The FCC has granted the request to transfer all necessary licenses and separate Time Warner Cable from the mother ship, which will be primarily a content-creating company. One FCC Commissioner says it’s further evidence that media is deconsolidating.


The separation was not controversial. Still, getting any major transaction approved by regulators can be tricky, especially when a new administration is still ramping up appointments. Time Warner and its ex-subsidiary to be had told the Commission that the spin-off would increase competition by giving each of the two companies “greater strategic, financial and operational flexibility.” Not to mention that Time Warner Cable is likely to get a better valuation for its stock as an independent entity.

Commissioner Robert McDowell, currently the lone Republican on the FCC, took advantage of the occasion to praise his colleague and make a point he’s mentioned several times recently. “I am pleased that the Media Bureau was able to act on these applications expeditiously under the leadership of Acting Chairman Michael Copps. This is yet another transaction that indicates that the media marketplace continues to deconsolidate, a trend that has been evident in recent years,” McDowell said. He had previously pointed to efforts by former consolidators Clear Channel Communications, Citadel Broadcasting and others to pare their station portfolios as evidence that media is no longer consolidating, but moving the other way.