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FCC delays decision on Charter-Time Warner merger

The US Federal Communications Commission is to delay its decision over the proposed merger of Charter Communications and fellow pay-television operator Time Warner Cable.

In May last year, Charter announced a deal to acquire TMC in an agreement valued at $78.7bn (€73.2bn).

Charter said the deal, between the second and third largest cable-television operators in the US, would provide greater competition for market leader Comcast.

The proposed merger has been approved by shareholders of both companies as well as most US states, but is still awaiting clearance from the FCC as well as the US Department of Justice. Charter in October said it expected the deal to go through in the first quarter of 2016.

However, the FCC said it will delay its informal deadline by 15 days in order to review new information filed by both companies last month. The 15-day delay extends the deadline until January 20.

In a letter to both companies, the FCC said the information relates to Charter’s residential pricing and packaging methodology, as well as its plans to deploy a new low-cost broadband service. The FCC said the delay would also enable it to examine the proposed merger’s impact on TWCs regional sports networks.

TWC's sports properties include a 25-year deal, from 2014 to 2038, for the media rights to MLB baseball franchise the Los Angeles Dodgers.