DESPITE FTC CONCERN, TCI WANTS A QVC DEAL BY FEBRUARY
On Wednesday, the FTC said it was seeking to "bar the
acquisition" of QVC, Inc. by TCI and Comcast Corp., "contending"
that the $1.42B deal would give TCI too much "market power in the
home shopping industry." Yesterday, TCI said it was preparing to
give the government "10 days notice that it intends to consummate
its acquisition of QVC by late February." TCI also plans to meet
with FTC officials next week to personally argue their case. A
industry source told the L.A. TIMES that TCI will fight the FTC
in court if the agency strikes the deal. Comcast would
apparently back TCI in any litigation. Comcast Chair Barry
Diller: "The government has every right to investigate the
matter, but this is torture" (Shiver & Harris, L.A. TIMES, 1/20).
The N.Y. POST reports this morning that the takeover will still
occur, and analysts say that "even if TCI was knocked out,
Comcast would proceed on its own or with a new equity partner"
(John Durie, N.Y. POST, 1/20).