Don’t like the idea of Comcast, the nation’s largest cable and Internet provider, getting larger by purchasing Time Warner Cable? You can now officially let regulators know, after the Federal Communications Commission formally launched its review of the deal Thursday.
The agency is asking for comments about the proposed $45 billion transaction (including Comcast’s spin-off deal with Charter Communications). Initial comments are due August 25, with final comments due October 8.
The action Thursday is mostly administrative. The FCC has already received more than 10,000 comments about the deal since it was announced in February. The FCC notice Thursday also starts an informal 180-day shot-clock for completing its review, although that doesn’t really mean much because the agency routinely blows those deadlines.
In a statement, Comcast* reiterated its position that the acquisition is in the public’s interest, but suggested that it knows others may not agree.
“Our filings have shown that considerable consumer benefits occur because of this transaction and there’s no diminishment in competition,” Comcast spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice said in a statement. “Of course, we fully expect a robust debate, and that’s what the FCC process is for. But we believe that once all the facts are in the record, it will show the significant advantages that bringing these companies together will bring.”
* Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit is an investor in Revere Digital, Re/code’s parent company.