FCC sets 180-day “timeclock” for reviewing Charter-Time Warner merger

This afternoon the Federal Communication Commission finally started its 180-day “timeclock” for reviewing Charter Communications’ proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Here’s the FCC’s public notice describing the case.

The proposed merger would create the second-biggest cable-Internet corporation in the U.S., serving Cleveland-Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, a large part of New York City, Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas-Ft Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Kansas City (MO), Milwaukee, St. Louis, Raleigh-Durham, Winston-Salem, Tampa, Louisville, Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester among other communities.

Charter’s bid for Time-Warner and Bright House was announced in May, shortly after Comcast dropped its year-long effort to buy Time Warner and  then divest Ohio and some other territories to Charter.  CYC 2.0 and other partners created the Coalition for Broadband Equity to participate in that case, arguing that Charter should be required to submit plans for communiy investment to increase home Internet access in low-income communities.

Initial public comments on the Charter proposal must be submitted to the FCC by October 13.  If the FCC sticks to its timeline (which is not mandatory), a decision on the merger will take place sometime in February.