Before a company may assign an FCC license to another company or acquire a company holding an FCC license, it must receive the Commission’s approval. The Commission reviews applications for the transfer of control and assignment of licenses and authorizations to ensure that the public interest would be served by approving the applications. The vast majority of transfer of control and assignment applications are simple and unopposed and are processed quickly. These applications can be found by searching the Commission’s online filing systems or by contacting the relevant Bureau. Some transactions, however, present more complex legal, economic or other public interest issues and are likely to elicit a significant amount of public comment, thus requiring more extensive Commission review. The Commission's Transaction Team helps ensure that the Commission’s internal procedures for processing these more complex applications are transparent and uniform across its various bureaus.
The Commission has published a brief overview of how it reviews major transactions and a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Each major transaction has its own web page, listed below. While not the official public record of the proceeding, the web page includes relevant information about the specific transaction, including a short description, a timeline, and links to the applications, petitions, comments and other pleadings, ex parte filings and Commission orders and decisions. The Commission also maintains a chronological list of the final decisions in major transactions and an archive of the web pages of past major transactions. Web pages are usually archived six to twelve months after the Commission’s final decision on the application or after the proceeding is no longer active. Links to these are found below.
Current and Recent Transactions
- Comcast/Time Warner Cable
- Media General/Young Broadcasting
- Verizon Wireless/Grain/Cincinnati Bell