March 23, 2016 / 7:40 PM / 4 years ago

FCC not expected to act this week on Charter-TWC merger: sources

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is not expected to make a decision this week on Charter Communications Inc’s (CHTR.O) planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc TWC.N, sources briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.

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. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Charter said in May that it would buy Time Warner Cable in a $56 billion cash-and-stock deal that would make it the No. 2 U.S. Internet and cable company after Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O).

Kim Hart, an FCC spokeswoman, declined to comment.

“We continue to work productively with regulators and look forward to obtaining approval soon,” Charter spokesman Justin Venech said.

Should the deal team at the FCC and the companies reach an agreement on conditions for approving the merger, the next step would be for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to circulate a proposed order approving the transaction.

Time Warner Cable declined to comment.

Shareholders of both companies and most U.S. states have approved the deal.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Wheeler is likely to circulate a draft order approving the deal, citing people familiar with the matter.

The order would levy some conditions on the deal, such as preventing Charter from including clauses in pay-TV contracts that limit a content company’s ability to offer its programming online or to new entrants, the newspaper reported.

An informal 180-day FCC “shot clock” is set to expire on Friday, but the agency says on its website that ensuring any deal is in the public interest takes precedence over the informal timeline.

Reporting by David Shepardson and Malathi Nayak; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Andrew Hay

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