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Cable Ops: No Reason to Stop Clock On Spectrum Deal - Broadcasting & Cable

Cable Ops: No Reason to Stop Clock On Spectrum Deal

Says that the files the CWA could not open were in formats specifically requested by FCC
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Cable operators looking to sell their advanced wireless spectrum to Verizon for just south of $4 billion have told the FCC that there is no reason to stop the clock on its vetting of the deal.

The Communications Workers of America, supported by various deal critics, had sought that break from the action, saying they had trouble with the formats of some documents supplied by the operators and Verizon or did not get documents in a timely fashion.

In a response filed Wednesday (April 24), Bright House Networks, Verizon Wireless, Comcast, Cox TMI Wireless, SpectrumCo and Time Warner Cable said that CWA's claims were meritless.

For one thing, say the companies, the files CWA could not open were in formats -- shapefiles and tables -- specifically requested by the FCC and for which there were free viewers available for CWA to use.

"Verizon Wireless has additionally responded to numerous questions from CWA's counsel to help them understand the files. CWA's inability to open the files is not the result of any defect in Verizon Wireless' production," they wrote.

Comcast said that it produced information in PDF format the day after CWA requested it, then in a second format the day after CWA asked for it in a different format. Time Warner Cable says it provided documents within three business days, but CWA never picked up the documents and apologized for not doing so.

In sum, the facts do not support CWA's allegations. In the few instances where CWA was delayed in accessing any of the productions, the cause lies with CWA, not with the Applicants," they told the FCC. "Plainly, CWA has provided no basis for stopping the transaction clock or in any way delaying the FCC's review of this transaction."

The FCC is currently in day 97 of its 180-day shot clock (http://transition.fcc.gov/transaction/verizonwireless-spectrumcocox.html) on merger reviews, though that is an informal clock that the FCC has exceeded by months and even years.

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