FCC Pauses Clock on Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger Review

The FCC is pausing its 180-day “shot clock” on its review of the proposed merger of Comcast with Time Warner Cable, giving opponents of the transaction more time to submit responses to a lengthy and strident Comcast filing last month.

The deadline for such responses has been extended three more weeks until Oct. 29, the FCC said, adding that it was granting a request by Dish Network for an extension. Dish Network opposes the merger.

Last month, Comcast submitted a filing of almost 850 pages that responded to criticisms of the merger, and the FCC said that because it contains new information that was not part of Comcast’s original merger application, “additional time is needed to evaluate it.” The agency also said that Comcast still needed to submit additional materials on the merger that it asked for in a data request in late August.

Sena Fitzmaurice, VP of government communications for Comcast, noted that the clock was temporarily stopped on prior merger reviews and such an action was routine. That includes the 2010 review of Comcast’s NBCUniversal acquisition.

“We will work with the staff to determine the additional information the FCC is seeking (including the document production that the FCC asked us to delay filing) and will submit supplemental answers and documents quickly thereafter so that the FCC can complete its review early in 2015,” she said in a statement.

The “shot clock” is an informal timeframe for the FCC’s merger reviews, designed to ensure that the commission acts in a timely manner on large-scale deals.

(Pictured left, Comcast’s David Cohen at a Congressional hearing on the Time Warner Cable merger)

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