Speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler went on record to express his opinion on the recently called-off deal that would have had Comcast buying Time Warner Cable.
According to Wheeler, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts’ move to drop the $45 billion bid for Time Warner was a “really good decision” on his part, and that if the company had chosen to challenge the FCC instead of aborting the deal, it would have resulted in a “long, drawn-out process.”
Comcast had originally announced its plans to take over Time Warner in February 2014, and all along it was expected that the deal would pass muster with federal officials. But recent months saw the chances of the deal pushing forward decreasing, amid concerns of a potential monopoly in several communications spaces.
Eventually, the FCC decided to recommend a hearing, something that proved to be a spanner in the works and a major concern for both parties involved. This hearing would have had a good chance of killing the buyout, which forced Roberts to cancel plans for a bid.
“Our concern was that it was not in the public interest to do this,” said Wheeler, referring to public outcry and objections to the deal. Wheeler was quoted as saying the FCC reviewed both cable and broadband spaces thoroughly, and had also considered the video space as another concern. At the end of the day, Wheeler said that it was a “data-driven” decision on his agency’s part.