FCC won’t extend comments for Comcast-Time Warner Cable

The Federal Communications Commission denied a request from the Los Angeles mayor’s office to extend the deadline for comments on Comcast’s proposed $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable.

The decision handed down in an order on Friday will mean Monday remains the final day for the first round of comments on the merger. Subsequent comment periods close on Sept. 23 — for comments replying to the initial batch of input — and Oct. 8, for final comments.

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had asked the commission to extend the deadline until Sept. 8, due to the complexity of the case.

Both cable companies pushed back, however, telling the FCC that its current deadlines were “fair and reasonable.”

The FCC agreed, calling the comment windows “consistent” with its review of Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal and “longer than the pleading cycles provided in some other media-related transaction proceedings in recent years.”

“We recognize the complexity of the proposed transactions,” the FCC added, which is why it created three “relatively lengthy” comment periods that give “interested parties substantial time and multiple opportunities to participate in the proceeding.”

Cable company executives and other supporters of the merger have said that it would allow companies to streamline their operations and better compete against upstart companies like Netflix and Google.

The proposal has led to significant opposition from public interest groups that claim it will lead to worse service for subscribers.