FTC, DOJ Give Liberty-GCI Deal Antitrust OK

Review finds no reason to condition or block merger

The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have no antitrust issues with John Malone’s (Liberty Interactive) deal to buy Alaskan cable and phone company General Communication Inc.

That came in an early termination notice from the FTC Wednesday (July 12), which means that the feds have closed their antitrust review of the $1.1 billion deal without recommending either blocking or conditioning it.

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The FCC still has to weigh in with its separate public-interest take on the deal. The commission looks beyond antitrust issues to the potential benefits of a merger. The companies have said they expect the deal to close by first quarter 2018.

GCI has about 108,000 cable sub in Alaska and is the state’s largest telephone and wireless company.