The Talent

May 20, 2010 12:11 PM

In Like Flynn: FCC Hires ICO Global GC to Oversee Comcast-NBC Merger Review

Posted by Brian Baxter

Amid calls from some lawmakers for the Federal Communications Commission to delay its review of a proposed $30 billion merger between Comcast and NBC Universal, the FCC is bringing in an outside lawyer to help oversee its assessment of the mammoth media joint venture. (The Justice Department is also conducting an antitrust review of the deal.)

The Blog of Legal Times, a sibling publication, reports that the FCC has hired John Flynn, general counsel of ICO Global Communications, to serve as senior counsel to the FCC chairman for transactions. Prior to joining ICO in 2006, Flynn was counsel at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr and an associate at Munger, Tolles & Olson.

Flynn will be a top external legal adviser to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski--a former Harvard Law School classmate of President Barack Obama--and will help the FCC coordinate its review of the deal. (Flynn did not immediately respond to an e-mail requesting comment.)

Critics have claimed that approval of the Comcast-NBC deal would stifle competition and threaten access by consumers to certain forms of television programming. Reuters reports that the FCC had always planned to hire an outside expert to help review the media megamerger because the regulator is simultaneously dealing with other pressing matters, such as recommendations on new broadband policies.

The BLT reports that at ICO, Flynn led a team that helped take the Reston, Va.-based satellite company public, as well as helping to win a $631 million jury verdict against Boeing in 2008. At Wilmer, Flynn worked with former firm communications cochair William Lake, now the chief of the FCC's media bureau.

In June 2009, current FCC chair Genachowski replaced Kevin Martin, now the cochair of Patton Boggs's technology and communications practice.

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