The US Federal Communications Commission said on Friday it paused its “shot-clock” on the review of the proposed $45 billion merger between the two largest US cable providers, Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc.
The FCC, which will determine whether the deal is in the public interest, said it is stopping its informal 180-day clock to review the merger until October 29, the new deadline for the public and stakeholders to comment, or until the agency is satisfied with Comcast’s response to requests for additional information. The deadline had been set for October 8.
On Friday, the FCC’s review of the merger was in day 85 of the 180-day self-imposed informal deadline to complete transaction reviews.
The FCC’s review had been expected to be finished on or around January 6.
The US Department of Justice is also reviewing the proposed deal for antitrust issues. Consumer advocates and some competitors have urged the FCC to reject it, saying the combined company would have too much clout over what Americans watch on television and how they access the Internet.
Comcast has stressed it does not directly compete with Time Warner Cable in any market and argued that, together, they could invest and innovate to bring better services to more Americans.