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Comcast now expects FCC to complete merger review mid-year

Comcast said today it now expects the FCC to complete its regulatory review of the company’s $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable in the middle of the year.

The cable and broadband giant had earlier estimated regulators would complete the review this month.

“Given the FCC’s recent decision to pause the shot clock, we have recently reassessed the time frame when we expect the government’s regulatory review to be completed and now expect that the review should be concluded in the middle of the year,” Comcast’s executive vice president David Cohen wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

The FCC paused its informal 180-day informal review “shot clock” for the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger and the AT&T-DirecTV merger a little over a week ago pending the outcome of a court case regarding agency access to programming carriage agreements. When the FCC paused the shot clock on March 13, the shot clock for Comcast-Time Warner Cable was on day 165.

Anticipating regulatory delays, Comcast and Time Warner Cable in January gave the companies some wiggle room to complete the merger by extending the formal drop dead date of the agreement to Aug. 12.