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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Charter merger with Time Warner Cable delayed at FCC

NEW YORK – Regulators pushed back by two weeks their informal deadline to complete a review of Charter Communications Inc.’s purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc.

U.S. officials need more time to examine recent filings on the deal’s potential impact to the distribution of Time Warner Cable’s regional sports networks and Charter’s residential pricing and packaging methods, among other things, the Federal Communications Commission said in a letter on Monday to the companies posted on its website.

The 15-day pause, which will conclude on Jan. 20, “will contribute to a more efficient and expeditious review of the proposed transaction,” the commission said.

The FCC and the Justice Department are vetting the deal for its effect on competition and consumers. The informal 180-day clock used by the FCC to complete merger reviews will have 65 days remaining when the pause ends, implying a deadline of late March.

“We are working well with the FCC on its review of our deal and continue to look forward to a timely approval,” Charter spokesman Justin Venech said in a statement.

Charter agreed in May to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks LLC for $55.1 billion and $10.4 billion, respectively. The deals would make Charter the second-largest cable and broadband provider in the U.S, with 23.9 million customers in 41 states.

A representative from Time Warner Cable didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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