Comcast executive VP David Cohen said in a blog post Wednesday that the cable giant believes FCC approval of its pending merger with Time Warner Cable won’t come until mid-year, which could delay the closing of the $67 billion deal yet again.
The FCC stopped the 180-day approval shot clock on the Comcast-TWC deal and another major transaction (AT&T and DirecTV) on March 13, to give a federal appeals court time to rule on a challenge to protective orders related to the review of the mergers. Comcast had originally expected the TWC deal to close by the end of 2014 and later amended that to about a year after it first announced the transaction on Feb. 13, 2014. In August the company said that it expected to close the deal in early 2015, which some observers had estimated would be sometime in the first quarter. With the first quarter nearing its close – it ends on March 31 – Comcast obviously won’t be able to make that date.
Cohen’s blog post mainly concentrated on a recent speech he made to students and faculty at the Center for Media Law and Policy of the University of North Carolina. North Carolina will become a new state for Comcast after the TWC deal closes. Cohen’s speech examined the democratization of media and the rapid pace of change in the business. While the post also talked about Comcast’s initiatives to bring affordable broadband to communities, Cohen commented on the deal approval process.