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FCC upholds MediaOne purchase

The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday announced it had rejected a petition by consumer groups to overturn its approval of AT&T's purchase of MediaOne. The FCC said the decision to uphold the merger actually was voted on Feb. 8, before the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C., remanded the agency's cable ownership cap. The commission said the court decision had no bearing in its decision to uphold the merger. However, by sending the cable ownership cap back to the FCC for revision, the court spared AT&T from being over the cap, which had led to it agreeing to conditions in the MediaOne merger to either spin off Liberty Media, sell MediaOne's 25.5 percent stake in Time Warner Entertainment, or sell off cable properties. AT&T is waiting to see if the FCC will lift those conditions in light of the court's ruling.

    The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday announced it had rejected a petition by consumer groups to overturn its approval of AT&T's purchase of MediaOne. The FCC said the decision to uphold the merger actually was voted on Feb. 8, before the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C., remanded the agency's cable ownership cap. The commission said the court decision had no bearing in its decision to uphold the merger. However, by sending the cable ownership cap back to the FCC for revision, the court spared AT&T from being over the cap, which had led to it agreeing to conditions in the MediaOne merger to either spin off Liberty Media, sell MediaOne's 25.5 percent stake in Time Warner Entertainment, or sell off cable properties. AT&T is waiting to see if the FCC will lift those conditions in light of the court's ruling.