Comcast, AT&T claim clearance of antitrust hurdle


Comcast Corp. and AT&T Broadband said Tuesday that they expect their merger to
close during fourth quarter, following expiration of the Department of Justice's
Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period for consummating mergers under antitrust

Although the antitrust waiting period has expired, DOJ officials noted that
their review continues and they aim to reach a decision on this matter as quickly
as possible.

Although the DOJ may not block the deal now, it can still order
divestitures and impose other conditions on the company going forward. It also
stressed that the deal may not close until approval from the Federal
Communications Commission is reached.

Although AT&T Broadband may have jumped the gun on announcing a clear path to
winning DOJ approval, public-advocacy groups said the companies'
announcement affirms their worry that the DOJ will approve the deal with no

The Consumers Union has called for the DOJ to require the companies to divest enough
cable properties to ensure that the merged company could not unduly influence
the distribution of cable-TV programming and high-speed Internet access offered
over cable wires.