24 October 2016 – The combined cache of spectrum licenses held by Time Warner [NYSE:TWX] makes it likely that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be a part of the regulatory review of its sale to AT&T [NYSE:T], three sector attorneys said.

The major content producer and telecom group announced plans to merge this week in a USD 109bn cash and stock transaction. The transaction is targeted to close before year-end 2017.

The FCC generally can only review mergers that involve transfers of licenses, leading to some speculation that the merging companies could attempt to evade FCC review by selling Time Warner’s single terrestrial TV station.

But according to the FCC’s database, Time Warner holds a large range of licenses, primarily for satellite uplinks news network CNN, which makes structuring a deal to avoid FCC oversight relatively complex, the three attorneys said.