Sources confirm that the FCC has asked economists who have weighed in on both sides of the Comcast/NBCU deal to meet at agency headquarters in Washington Friday for what is being described as a couple of panels sessions with staffers vetting the proposed deal.
An American Cable Association representative confirmed its economist was one of those who would be in attendance, as will more than one from Comcast, a source confirmed.
Bloomberg, which has opposed the deal as currently constituted, will also have its economists in the room, according to a report in the L.A. Times.
Company executives will not be part of the meeting. Neither will the public, but a source familiar with the meetings said a redacted transcript will be disseminated afterwards.
Not surprisingly, economists came to different conclusions about the deal's impace on competition, and the FCC is looking to put them all in a room together to hash it out.
Comcast has argued that many of its economic conclusions have gone unchallenged, while the other side did not have data to back theirs up. The "other side" has included ACA economist William Rogerson, who argued in comments that the deal presents both significant horizontal and vertical harms.