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FCC Won't Delay Restarting Clock on Verizon-SpectrumCo

The Federal Communications Commission has denied a request by Public Knowledge and the Rural Telecommunications Group that the agency not restart its shot clock on the Verizon-SpectrumCo deal on July 10 as planned.

The groups had petitioned the commission to move the deadline for comments on the impact of the Verizon-AT&T-Mobile spectrum swap on the SpectrumCo deal from July 10 to July 24, saying it needed more time and citing the July 4 holiday as one reason. The FCC had stopped its informal 180-day shot clock on vetting the SpectrumCo deal until July 10 so that commenters could weigh in on Verizonâ€"T-Mobile.

"We are not persuaded, under the circumstances outlined in the Motion, that Public Knowledge and RTG have shown good cause that granting the Motion for an extension of time would serve the public interest," the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau said in denying the request. "The Commission has an obligation to review the transactions proposed in the Verizon Wireless/SpectrumCo/Cox Applications as expeditiously as possible, consistent with the public interest," the commission said.

The FCC is on day 138 of its 180-day shot clock, though that is not a hard deadline. It is in day 13 of its vetting of the Verizonâ€"T-Mobile spectrum swap, which is contingent on approval of the SpectrumCo deal since it includes some of the spectrum that Verizon is trying to buy from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Bright House for about $3.9 billion.