Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Basis of Presentation

Basis of Presentation
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2016
Basis of Presentation  
Basis of Presentation

(1) Basis of Presentation

During May 2014, the board of Liberty Media Corporation and its subsidiaries (“Liberty”) authorized management to pursue a plan to spin-off to its stockholders common stock of a newly formed company to be called Liberty Broadband Corporation (“Liberty Broadband” or the “Company”), and to distribute subscription rights to acquire shares of Liberty Broadband Series C common stock (the “Broadband Spin-Off”). Liberty Broadband is comprised of, among other things, (i) Liberty’s former interest in Charter Communications, Inc. (“Charter”), (ii) Liberty’s former wholly-owned subsidiary TruePosition, Inc. (“TruePosition”), (iii) Liberty’s former minority equity investment in Time Warner Cable, Inc. (“Time Warner Cable”), (iv) certain deferred tax liabilities, as well as liabilities related to Time Warner Cable written call options and (v) initial indebtedness, pursuant to margin loans entered into prior to the completion of the Broadband Spin-Off. These financial statements refer to the combination of the aforementioned subsidiary, investments, and financial instruments as “Liberty Broadband,” “the Company,” “us,” “we” and “our” in the notes to the condensed consolidated financial statements.

In the Broadband Spin-Off record holders of Liberty’s former Series A, Series B and Series C common stock received one-fourth of a share of the corresponding series of Liberty Broadband common stock for each share of Liberty common stock held by them, with cash paid in lieu of fractional shares. In addition, following the completion of the Broadband Spin-Off, stockholders received a subscription right to acquire one share of Liberty Broadband Series C common stock for every five shares of Liberty Broadband common stock they held at a per share subscription price of $40.36, which was a 20% discount to the 20-trading day volume weighted average trading price of the Liberty Broadband Series C common stock following the completion of the Broadband Spin-Off. The rights offering was fully subscribed on January 9, 2015, with 17,277,224 shares of Series C common stock issued to those rightsholders exercising basic and, as applicable, oversubscription privileges for total proceeds of $697 million. The subscription rights were issued to raise capital for general corporate purposes of Liberty Broadband. The Broadband Spin-Off and rights offering were intended to be tax-free to stockholders of Liberty and Liberty Broadband, respectively. During September 2015, Liberty entered into a closing agreement with the IRS which provided that the Broadband Spin-Off qualified for tax-free treatment. The Broadband Spin-Off was accounted for at historical cost due to the pro rata nature of the distribution to holders of Liberty common stock.

The accompanying (a) condensed consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2015, which has been derived from audited financial statements, and (b) interim unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“GAAP”) for interim financial information and the instructions to Form 10-Q and Article 10 of Regulation S-X as promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Accordingly, they do not include all of the information and footnotes required by GAAP for complete financial statements. In the opinion of management, all adjustments (consisting of normal recurring accruals) considered necessary for a fair presentation of the results for such periods have been included. The results of operations for any interim period are not necessarily indicative of results for the full year. Additionally, certain prior period amounts have been reclassified for comparability with current period presentation. These condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto contained in Liberty Broadband's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in the condensed consolidated financial statements.

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates. The Company considers (i) the application of the equity method of accounting for investments in affiliates, (ii) the fair value of non-financial instruments, (iii) the fair value of financial instruments, (iv) revenue recognition and (v) accounting for income taxes to be its most significant estimates.

In March 2016, the FASB issued new guidance which simplifies several aspects of the accounting for share-based payment award transactions, including the income tax consequences, forfeitures, classification of awards as either equity or liabilities, and classification on the statement of cash flows. The new standard is effective for the Company for fiscal years and interim periods beginning after December 15, 2016, with early application permitted. The Company adopted this guidance in the third quarter of 2016.  In accordance with the new guidance, excess tax benefits and tax deficiencies are recognized as income tax benefit or expense rather than as additional paid-in capital. The Company has elected to recognize forfeitures as they occur rather than continue to estimate expected forfeitures. In addition, pursuant to the new guidance, excess tax benefits are classified as an operating activity on the condensed consolidated statements of cash flows. The recognition of excess tax benefits and deficiencies are applied prospectively from January 1, 2016. Based on the Company’s analysis, no cumulative effect adjustment to retained earnings was necessary for tax benefits that were not previously recognized and for adjustments to compensation cost based on actual forfeitures. The presentation changes for excess tax benefits have been applied retrospectively in the condensed consolidated statements of cash flows, resulting in the reclassification of $1.2 million of excess tax benefits for the nine months ended September 30, 2015, from cash flows from financing activities to cash flows from operating activities. There were no excess tax benefits reclassified for the nine months ended September 30, 2016.

In February 2016, the FASB issued new accounting guidance on lease accounting. This guidance requires a company to recognize lease assets and lease liabilities arising from operating leases in the statement of financial position.  This guidance does not significantly change the previous lease guidance for how a lessee should account for a lease.  Additionally, the criteria for classifying a lease as a finance lease versus an operating lease are substantially the same as the previous guidance.  The amendments in this update are effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years, and early adoption is permitted.  We plan to adopt this guidance on January 1, 2019.  Companies are required to use a modified retrospective approach to adopt this guidance.  We are currently evaluating the impact of the adoption of this new guidance on our consolidated financial statements and expect it to have an impact on our consolidated balance sheets.

In May 2014, the FASB issued new accounting guidance on revenue from contracts with customers. The new guidance requires an entity to recognize the amount of revenue to which it expects to be entitled for the transfer of promised goods or services to customers. This new guidance also requires additional disclosure about the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from customer contracts, including significant judgments and changes in judgments and assets recognized from costs incurred to obtain or fulfill a contract. In March 2016, the FASB issued additional guidance which clarifies principal versus agent considerations, and in April 2016, the FASB issued further guidance which clarifies the identification of performance obligations and the implementation guidance for licensing. The updated guidance will replace most existing revenue recognition guidance in GAAP when it becomes effective and permits the use of either a full retrospective or modified retrospective transition method. This guidance is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2017, and early adoption is permitted only for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016. The Company currently does not plan to early adopt this new guidance, is evaluating the effect that the updated standard will have on its revenue recognition, and has not yet selected a transition method.

Liberty Broadband holds an investment that is accounted for using the equity method. Liberty Broadband does not control the decision making process or business management practices of this affiliate. Accordingly, Liberty Broadband relies on the management of this affiliate to provide it with accurate financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP that the Company uses in the application of the equity method. In addition, Liberty Broadband relies on audit reports that are provided by the affiliate's independent auditor on the financial statements of such affiliate. The Company is not aware, however, of any errors in or possible misstatements of the financial information provided by its equity affiliate that would have a material effect on Liberty Broadband's condensed consolidated financial statements.

During 2015, Liberty Broadband entered into certain agreements with Charter, Liberty Interactive Corporation (“Liberty Interactive”) and Time Warner Cable in connection with certain proposed transactions among these companies, which closed during May 2016. See note 5 for additional detail regarding these transactions and corresponding agreements.

Spin-Off Arrangements

Following the Broadband Spin-Off, Liberty and Liberty Broadband operate as separate, publicly traded companies, and neither has any stock ownership, beneficial or otherwise, in the other. In connection with the Broadband Spin-Off, Liberty and Liberty Broadband entered into certain agreements in order to govern certain of the ongoing relationships between the two companies after the Broadband Spin-Off and to provide for an orderly transition. These agreements include a reorganization agreement, a services agreement, a facilities sharing agreement and a tax sharing agreement.

The reorganization agreement provides for, among other things, the principal corporate transactions (including the internal restructuring) required to effect the Broadband Spin-Off, certain conditions to the Broadband Spin-Off and provisions governing the relationship between Liberty Broadband and Liberty with respect to and resulting from the Broadband Spin-Off. The tax sharing agreement provides for the allocation and indemnification of tax liabilities and benefits between Liberty and Liberty Broadband and other agreements related to tax matters. Among other things, pursuant to the tax sharing agreement, Liberty Broadband has agreed to indemnify Liberty, subject to certain limited exceptions, for losses and taxes resulting from the Broadband Spin-Off to the extent such losses or taxes result primarily from, individually or in the aggregate, the breach of certain restrictive covenants made by Liberty Broadband (applicable to actions or failures to act by Liberty Broadband and its subsidiaries following the completion of the Broadband Spin-Off). Pursuant to the services agreement, Liberty provides Liberty Broadband with general and administrative services including legal, tax, accounting, treasury and investor relations support. Under the facilities sharing agreement, Liberty Broadband shares office space with Liberty and related amenities at Liberty’s corporate headquarters. Liberty Broadband will reimburse Liberty for direct, out-of-pocket expenses incurred by Liberty in providing these services and for costs that will be negotiated semi-annually. Under these various agreements, approximately $661 thousand and $656 thousand was reimbursable to Liberty for the three months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively, and $2.4 million and $1.8 million was reimbursable to Liberty for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively.