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FCC delays TWC, Comcast review

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has again postponed its review of the proposed US$45bn merger of Comcast Corporation and Time Warner Cable (TWC).

The FCC has cited delays in receiving documents from TWC as it continues to study whether the merger, which would combine the two biggest US cable companies, is in the public interest.

The deal, confirmed in February, would unite the subscriber bases of leading US cable operator Comcast (23 million) and second largest operator TWC (12 million).

But the FCC has said it recently learned TWC had improperly withheld over 7,000 documents that regulators had requested based on an “inappropriate claim of attorney-client privilege.” TWC promised to produce the missing documents, but the FCC said it needed extra time to study new submissions.

The FCC had originally self-imposed an informal 180-day countdown for the review, which will now be paused at day 104 until January 12.

“Today’s delay is a procedural issue, not a substantive one,” said TWC spokesman Bobby Amirshahi. “We already have provided the FCC more than five million pages of documents and we will continue to provide the FCC everything that they need to review this transaction.”

Comcast spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice added that the companies remained on track for the review to be concluded early in 2015.

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