The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has paused its informal ‘shot-clock’ deadline on the review of the proposed USD48.5 billion takeover of pay-TV giant DirecTV by AT&T Inc. The watchdog, which will determine whether the deal is in the public interest, has reportedly suspended the self-imposed 180-day evaluation in order to decide how best to handle highly confidential documents related to DirecTV’s agreements with media companies; the review was paused on day 76. According to the news agency, a number of prominent content companies have expressed concerns about sharing the details of such agreements with the FCC, saying the agency’s filing process threatens the documents’ high level of confidentiality, and risks giving competitors an insight into sensitive business arrangements.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month the regulator also paused the shot-clock on its review of the USD45 million Comcast-Time Warner Cable (TWC) deal, on day 85. The 180-day clock for that deal will resume on 29 October, which is the new deadline for the public and stakeholders to comment on the so-called ‘mega-merger’.