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FCC GOP commissioners: Get on with Charter merger review

FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly

The two GOP commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission accused the agency of delaying the formal review of Charter Communications’ deal to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

Earlier this week, the agency accepted the merger applications of the companies, but has yet to start the informal 180-day merger review shot clock until the commissioners agree on the procedures for protecting confidential information.

But Commissioners Ajit Pai and Mike O’Rielly countered that shouldn’t hold up the review.

“While we are still reviewing the order [for protection confidential information] on circulation, we believe that the commission should follow the direction that the D.C. Circuit previously provided in a similar case: ‘The agency has access to the relevant documents at issue in this matter and can continue to evaluate the proposed merger….’ So let’s start the ‘aspirational’ merger review shot clock and get on with the process,” the commissioners said in a joint statement.

As part of the statement, Pai and O’Rielly said the commissioner should seek “public input” on the proposed procedures.

On July 8, the FCC named the members of an inter-bureau steering committee and the working team leaders established to coordinate the agency’s review of merger applications which was filed with the Commission on June 25, 2015.

The FCC declined comment.