After nearly five months of sturm und drang in the run-up to the regulatory approval process, the FCC has finally started the 180-day clock on vetting the proposed merger between Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC).
The formal process started Thursday, July 10, just several days after the Federal Communications Commission selected a fairly strident team to oversee the review process. Comments and petitions to deny the deal are due to the FCC by Aug. 25, with replies and oppositions to deny due Sept. 23 and final comments due Oct. 8
"With the FCC's Public Notice on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable and related transactions, the next step in the formal review process begins," wrote Sena Fitzmaurice, VP of corporate communications - government & regulatory communications for Comcast, on the company's blog. "We look forward to a thorough, fact-and-data based comment and review process on questions that are specifically related to the issues raised by these transactions.
"Our filings have shown that considerable consumer benefits occur because of this transaction and there's no diminishment in competition," Fitzmaurice added. "Of course, we fully expect a robust debate, and that's what the FCC process is for. But we believe that once all the facts are in the record, it will show the significant advantages that bringing these companies together will bring."
Comcast's latest proposed ad says it "is committed" to extending net neutrality protections through its TWC merger. (Source: Comcast)
- read this Comcast blog post
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