FCC extends review period for Verizon-cable deals

John Moe May 2, 2012

We’ve been watching this story pretty closely for a while and it’s getting kind of weird. You’ll recall that Verizon struck several deals in December with cable TV providers Comcast, Cox, and Time Warner Cable wherein Verizon would get unused spectrum, the cable companies would get billions of dollars, and both sides would market each other. That would create a world where Verizon would have a dominant amount of broadcast spectrum over its rivals, cable companies could never become wireless carriers, and all sides would work to make that arrangement stick.
But would the FCC approve the sale?

Well, they’ve tried to come to some sort of decision on that and it doesn’t seem to be working. The commission has just extended out the review period for the deal by 21 days. It seems that while the companies involved have provided the documentation requested, there have been problems.

The Hill says:

The FCC also noted that critics of the deal have complained that they were unable to access the companies’ documents. Verizon and the cable companies said Friday they will make the documents available in an electronic and searchable form.

“We anticipate that these steps will assist access to the productions,” the FCC said.

The commission said the delay in receiving documents from the companies set back its review by at least three weeks and also affected the ability of third parties to review the information.

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