Shot clock delays put FCC merger timelines into March

Originally scheduled to culminate by the end of 2014, the FCC's respective regulatory reviews for the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable and AT&T-DirecTV mergers will now close in March, if no more delays are encountered.

On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it had restarted the "shot clocks" for both reviews, after suspending them in early October to vet the issue of whether the principals' contracts with programmers were subject to public release.

The review of Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) will now pick up at day 85, with the 180-day review period set to culminate in mid-March. The deadline for replies to opposition will be pushed back from Oct. 22 to Dec. 23.

The review for AT&T's (NYSE: T) proposed $49 billion takeover of DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) will restart at day 70 (even though it was technically suspended at day 76) and end in late-March. The replies-to-opposition deadline is pushed from Nov. 5 to Jan. 7.

For more:
- read this FCC notification
- read this Reuters story
- read this Multichannel News story

Related links:
Comcast dismisses new 'special interest group,' touts supporters
Dish Network, labor unions form anti-merger coalition 'Stop Mega Comcast'
FCC pauses shot clock on AT&T-DirecTV merger, as Andreessen and Cuban offer their support