| July 7
July 7 A U.S. Federal Communications Commission
lawyer will lead the agency's review of the proposed merger of
Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc, while an external lawyer
will join to lead the review of AT&T Inc's bid for DirecTV, the
FCC said on Monday.
Hillary Burchuk, a former lawyer at the U.S. Justice
Department's antitrust division who joined the FCC in 2011, will
head the agency's working team reviewing the proposed $45.2
billion merger between two largest U.S. cable providers, Comcast
and Time Warner Cable. The team will also
review Comcast's related deal with Charter Communications Inc.
Jamillia Ferris, also a former antitrust lawyer at the
Justice Department, will join the FCC from law firm Hunton &
Williams LLP to lead the team reviewing the proposed $48.5
billion merger between No. 2 wireless carrier AT&T and
biggest satellite TV service provider DirecTV.
Burchuk in 2011 was involved in the Justice Department's
lawsuit to block the proposed merger between U.S. wireless
carriers AT&T and T-Mobile, court documents show.
Ferris from 2010 to 2013 served as deputy chief of staff and
then chief of staff and counsel to U.S. antitrust chief Bill
Baer and was involved in suing Apple Inc and book
publishers for e-book price fixing, according to her online
Documents do not show either being involved in the Justice
Department's 2011 settlement that allowed Comcast to buy
programmer NBC Universal with conditions.
The companies have to convince the FCC that their mergers
are in the public interest for the deals to go ahead. The
Justice Department can also move to block the deals if it finds
they violate antitrust laws.
The two review teams will report to a steering committee
chaired by FCC General Counsel Jonathan Sallet, which will also
include the chiefs of the FCC's wireline competition and
wireless telecommunications bureaus, the agency announced.
Several members of the office of the FCC Chairman Tom
Wheeler will also be involved as the review process moves
forward, an FCC official said - legal adviser Maria Kirby,
special counsel for external affairs Gigi Sohn, senior counselor
Philip Verveer and chief of staff Ruth Milkman.
Northwestern University professors William Rogerson and
Shane Greenstein will serve as senior economist and senior
economic consultant on both mergers, the FCC said.
(Reporting by Alina Selyukh in Toronto; Editing by Cynthia