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Friday, May 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

‘Oh, That $126 Million …’

WASHINGTON (CN) - Comcast CEO Brian Roberts bought more than $126 million in voting securities in his company without properly notifying the Federal Trade Commission or the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, the United States says.

"Roberts violated the notice and waiting requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act with respect to acquisitions of voting securities of Comcast Corporation," the government says.

Uncle Sam says Roberts acquired millions of dollars worth of shares from 2007 to 2009 before he made a corrective filing for the acquisitions.

The government claims Roberts also made corrective filings in 1999 and 2000 for acquiring shares of Comcast, Susquehanna Cable Co. and Internet Capital Group without notification, claiming that "the failure to file and observe the waiting period was inadvertent."

The government did not recommend that Roberts pay civil penalties for those violations, but sent him introductory guides to the premerger notification program.

Roberts went on to acquire 24,750 shares of Comcast in 2008 without notifying the government, bringing his holdings in Comcast securities to $126.2 million, the government says.

The Hart-Scott-Rodino Act requires notification of federal antitrust agencies and a waiting period before the acquiring party can hold more than $59.8 million in voting shares.

The government wants Roberts to pay unspecified civil penalties for failure to report the acquisitions to the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.

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