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U.S. FCC pauses clock on Comcast-TWC, AT&T-DirecTV merger reviews

March 13, 2015, 8:58 PM UTC
Internet Providers Should Guarantee Equal Access to All Users, Obama Says
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) headquarters stands in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. President Barack Obama called for the "strongest possible rules" to protect the open Internet, advocating stricter controls than a regulator he appointed and causing shares of Comcast Corp. and other broadband providers to drop. Obama's comments tilt the White House against positions advocated by broadband providers and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Andrew Harrer —Bloomberg via Getty Images
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday paused its informal 180-day countdown to deciding the fate of two mergers – Comcast’s with Time Warner Cable (TWC) and AT&T’s with DirecTV (DTV).
The agency cited the pending court decision related to how it should handle disclosures of the companies’ various contract agreements with media firms. The countdown, known as a “shot clock,” is non-binding.
“At this time, we believe it is prudent to pause the informal 180-day transaction clocks because the commission would be advantaged by knowing the resolution of the pending Petition for Review before the transaction clocks reach the 180-day mark, which both are slated to do by the end of March,” the FCC said in the announcement.