Comcast-TWC deal draws 43K public comments as L.A. mayor asks FCC to extend deadline

With the carriage impasse over Time Warner Cable's (NYSE: TWC) SportsNet LA taking center stage in Los Angeles political arena, Mayor Eric Garcetti has asked the FCC to extend the Sept. 8 public comment deadline for the merger of Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and TWC.

The L.A. mayor's request was reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, citing Federal Communications Commission sources. The mayor's office hasn't confirmed the request and the FCC hasn't so far indicated whether or not they're going to grant the extension.

The FCC says it's received around 43,000 comments so far regarding the proposed $45 billion deal.

On Friday, Multichannel News reported that Consumers Union and Common Cause have jointly filed a petition to oppose the deal. "If this deal goes through, we can expect to be hit with more skyrocketing bills and worse service as Comcast gains even more control over what we see online and on TV," said Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union, in a statement announcing the petition.

Detractors, of course, are legion. But the Inquirer reports supporters, too, including the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Associated Black Charities of Baltimore and the Urban Affairs Coalition of Philadelphia, to name a few.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that the Los Angeles kerfluffle over TWC's new Dodgers-based regional sports network could impact the merger approval process, but it wasn't clear as to whether Bloomberg was citing government sources or analysts' speculation.

Similarly, there have been requests to the FCC to extend the commentary period for the proposed AT&T (NYSE: T)-DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) merger, but both companies have issued strong rebuttals to this notion. 

For more:
- read this Philadelphia Inquirer story

Related links:
Comcast's Cohen to regulators: 'Don't make us the next Blockbuster'
AT&T, DirecTV demand that FCC not extend comment period on merger review
SportsNet LA standoff could 'undermine' TWC-Comcast merger, but FCC is mum

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