WASHINGTON–The Federal Communications Commission has started the clock running on its review of Comcast’s bid to buy up AT&T Broadband, the telco’s gargantuan cable unit.
Agency commenced its official 180-day review of the $75 million cable deal late Friday, just in time for the Easter holiday.
Under the schedule set by the FCC, those opposing the merger have until April 29 to file their comments. Proponents then will be given a chance to respond.
Comcast is the country’s third largest cable company; AT&T is No. 1. Deal would give the cable combo more than 22 million customers in 40 states.
In addition to the FCC, the merger must receive the blessing of antitrust toppers at the Dept. of Justice.
Comcast’s proposal is likely to spark intense debate in Washington, with several Capitol Hill pols promising to hold congressional hearings. No one is predicting the merger will fail, but conditions are expected to be attached.