Critics of the NBC Universal-Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) merger who wanted the Federal Communications Commission to extend the response deadline past May 3 will get more time. The FCC said late Friday afternoon that it is suspending the comment and petition schedule to give Comcast and NBCU parent General Electric (NYSE: GE) time to file two new economic reports it has requested — “one addressing the economic support for the claimed benefits from the transaction and one addressing the potential impacts of the transaction on online video distribution.” The companies are working on the reports but the FCC decided the reports would come in too close to the original response deadline to give enough time for others to include in their filings. The commission is also stopping the informal 180-day clock it uses to keep the process on track.
The new response and petition deadline will be 45 days after the FCC accepts the additional reports. More details in the FCC announcement (pdf).