AT&T-Time Warner deal may have easier path to approval

February 27, 2017 by Tali Arbel
This Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, file photo shows the AT&T sign at a store in Hialeah, Fla. AT&T's $85 billion purchase of Time Warner may be getting an easier path to approval after the chief telecommunications regulator says it isn't likely to review the deal. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

AT&T's $85 billion purchase of Time Warner may be getting an easier path to approval after the chief telecommunications regulator says it isn't likely to review the deal.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is telling The Wall Street Journal that the agency likely won't be involved because of changes in the deal's structure.

Last week, magazine publisher and TV station owner Meredith announced plans buy Time Warner's lone TV station for $70 million. AT&T's takeover of that station would have meant an FCC review.

FCC spokesman Neil Grace confirmed Pai's comments to The Associated Press.

The Justice Department still needs to approve the merger. But the FCC was considered the tougher cop. It must determine a deal is in the public interest, a broader criteria than antitrust.

Pai has been taking more industry-friendly stances on many issues since President Donald Trump appointed him FCC chairman.

In this Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, file photo, clouds are reflected in the glass facade of the Time Warner building in New York. AT&T's $85 billion purchase of Time Warner may be getting an easier path to approval after the chief telecommunications regulator says it isn't likely to review the deal. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Explore further: CEOs of AT&T, Time Warner to sell merger to skeptical Senate

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