FCC Puts Charter-TWC Review on Pause


Charter-TWCThe FCC has moved its merger review timetable back a couple of weeks to further scrutinize paperwork from Charter and Time Warner Cable.

At issue are recent filings that could affect the distribution of TWC’s regional sports networks and Charter’s home pricing and packaging deals, cybersecurity. The commission is also looking at filings concerning claimed benefits and efficiencies resulting from the proposed merger. In May, Charter agreed to acquire TWC and Bright House Networks for just over $55B and $10.4B respectively.

Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake said in a letter to both companies that an extra 15 days to review the deal would “contribute to a more efficient and expeditious review.”

The commission is pausing its informal 180-day shot clock to review the merger until Jan. 20. That leaves some 65 days remaining when the break ends, implying a deadline of late March for commenters.

The DOJ too, is reviewing the proposed merger for its potential effect on competition and consumers.

If approved by regulators, the deal would make Charter the second-largest cable and broadband provider in the U.S., with just under 24M customers in 41 states.