FCC Stops Clocks on Merger Reviews... Again

The FCC has stopped the informal shot clocks on the Comcast/Time Warner Cable and AT&T/DirecTV mergers to give a federal appeals court time to rule on a challenge to protective orders related to those deal reviews.  

"At this time, we believe it is prudent to pause the informal 180-day transaction clocks because the Commission would be advantaged by knowing the resolution of the pending Petition for Review before the transaction clocks reach the 180-day mark," which were both slated to finish by the end of March, said the FCC. "In reaching this conclusion, the Commission reserves the right to restart the clock as it believes will best serve the public interest and it intends to provide further guidance as it becomes appropriate."  

The court heard oral argument in programmer challenges Feb. 20

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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.