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FCC Stops Clock on Merger Reviews

The FCC's Media Bureau has stopped the clock on both the AT&T/DirecTV and the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger reviews, citing a series of objections filed by content companies who don't want their contracts accessed by third parties.

The FCC modified the joint protective orders in the deals earlier to try and accommodate those content companies, which included CBS, Scripps Networks Interactive, Disney, Time Warner, Twenty-First Century Fox, Univision and Viacom.

They had asked that contracts be reviewed at Justice, not the FCC, but the Commission denied that request and modified the order to add what it said were a unique combination of protections to exclude "competitive decisionmakers" from accessing the information.

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