Commissioner predicts FCC would block Comcast-Time Warner deal

The Federal Communications Commission would likely block Comcast's rumored bid for Time Warner Cable, according to Ajit Pai, a Republican commissioner.

It is unusual for an FCC commissioner to weigh in on a deal before the agency has completed its review, much less before a deal is even announced.

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"The Obama administration has applied greater scrutiny to proposed mergers and acquisitions," Pai told The Wall Street Journal in an interview Thursday, citing AT&T's failed bid to buy T-Mobile in 2011. 

"Precedents like this suggest an outright acquisition by Comcast of Time Warner Cable could face a number of hurdles in the Obama administration," he said. "A Republican administration likely would be more inclined to approve a deal."

Comcast, the largest cable provider by subscribers, is reportedly interested in buying Time Warner Cable, the industry's second largest firm. Charter Communications is also reportedly pursuing all or part of Time Warner Cable.

Pai is one of two Republicans on the five-member commission. Tom Wheeler, a Democrat, was sworn in as chairman of the agency last month. 

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