Charter-TWC review memos kept under wraps by FCC as agency rejects FOIA request

The FCC has rejected a Freedom of Information Act request made by tech blog Gizmodo to see the internal memos leading to the approval of Charter Communications' (NASDAQ: CHTR) takeover of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. 

Gizmodo blogger Matt Novak said he filed an FOIA request with the FCC on April 25 in an attempt to "gain some insight into the thinking that has allowed the consolidation of internet service providers in the United States."

According to Novak, FCC spokesperson Kim Hart responded, noting that nine documents — mostly internal FCC emails — fit his requests. 

However, since the "nonexempt information" in these documents is "inextricably intertwined" with exempt information, "reasonable segregation is not possible," Hart said. 

"Disclosure of this material would chill the deliberative process and inhibit the frank and open discussions between government employees that are necessary for agency decision-making," Hart added. 

Responded Novak: "I'm no lawyer, but I believe that the release of these documents would have been in the public interest. We're not talking about Tom Wheeler's personal Amazon purchase history here. These are the documents that allowed some of the largest private companies in the United States—companies that have a de facto government-sanctioned monopoly on providing internet access to huge segments of the population—to merge and become even more powerful than they once were."

Hart didn't immediately respond to FierceCable's request for further comment. 

For more:
- read this Gizmodo story

Related articles:
ACA to FCC: If you don't want bigger Charter, why force it to overbuild?
Combined Charter/TWC customer service will get worse, not better, analysts say
TWC, Cablevision employees brace for layoffs

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