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ACA Gains Access To Comcast-NBCU Records In Native Format

The American Cable Association is pleased that Comcast Corp. -- which is seeking Federal Communications Commission approval to merge with NBC Universal -- has agreed to provide the trade group with access to FCC-requested legal and business records in the exact same format that such data was provided to the agency.

In a formal request, ACA asked the FCC to insist that Comcast perform this task; the company recently did so before the FCC issued an order. ACA is an interested party in the merger proceeding and its staff and lawyers have access to highly confidential records.

"It is vitally important that ACA and its legal advisers have access to Comcast-NBCU records in their native format. Comcast provided us with thousands of pages of documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in hundreds of separate unsearchable PDF files. To avoid wasting ACA and its members' time and money, we needed Comcast to provide us data in its unconverted format - Excel spreadsheets in an Excel format -- so we can quickly analyze it," American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

In a related matter, the FCC initially said that after Aug. 5, parties and interested persons raising new issues based on new facts or newly discovered facts had 15 days to do so after discovering such facts. ACA asked the FCC to relax that filing window given the volume of material submitted by Comcast-NBCU. The agency responded in part with a little bit-more clarification that said the 15-day period would begin "after the amount of time it would take a reasonable person to complete a diligent review of a submission of new information."

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