Decision should come by the end of the year

As it holds a field hearing on the Comcast-NBC Universal merger in Chicago today, the FCC has formally restarted its review process on the deal.

The commission had “stopped the clock” on the public comment and response period related to materials filed by Comcast and NBC U in support of the merger and discussing the competitive ramifications of the proposed union. The FCC had paused its 180-day review timetable in June while it awaited more detailed responses from both companies to questions posed by FCC staffers. On Tuesday, the commission confirmed that it had received the requested responses and now the review is back on track, with Tuesday being day 45 of the 180-day frame. That means that the FCC’s decision should come by the end of the year, as Comcast and NBC U execs have targeted.

Under political pressure, the FCC in April extended the comment period on the merger, which had originally been skedded to wrap up in mid-June

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