September 11, 2015 / 7:32 PM / 2 years ago

FCC starts 180-day countdown to review Charter-Time Warner Cable merger

A Time Warner Cable sign and logo are seen on a Time Warner Cable store in the Manhattan borough of New York City, May 26, 2015.Mike Segar

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday started a non-binding 180-day countdown to review the proposed $56 billion merger of cable rivals Charter Communications Inc (CHTR.O) and Time Warner Cable Inc. TWC.N

The FCC said it will collect the first wave of public comments by October 13. The agency also adopted a new legal framework to protect sensitive information submitted as part of the merger review, while allowing some third-party representatives to access and comment on it.

The FCC's so-called 180-day "shot clock" is used as guidance, though is often surpassed. The companies have said they aimed to close the deal by the end of the year.

Reporting by Alina Selyukh; Editing by Lisa Lambert

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