Thursday, September 22, 2005

VZ-MCI Merger - Clock Stopped until 10/13/05

In recent days, the Applicants filed a number of ex parte letters in WC Docket No. 05-75 containing substantial additional relevant information. Although today [9/20/05] is day 180 of the Commission’s informal time clock for consideration of this transaction, the Applicants have now requested that the agency "stop the clock" and extend the time for its consideration. "We are today stopping the clock until October 13, 2005 while we continue to consider the Applications." We take this opportunity to remind the public that the 180-day clock represents a good faith undertaking by the Commission to complete action on assignment and transfer of control applications within a certain timeframe and a means to keep interested parties informed of the progress of those applications. The clock carries with it no procedural or substantive rights or obligations but merely represents an informal benchmark by which to evaluate the Commission’s progress. Although the Commission seeks to meet the 180-day benchmark, we note that the Commission retains the discretion to determine whether, in any particular review proceeding, events beyond the agency’s control, the need to obtain additional information or the interests of sound analysis constitute sufficient grounds to stop the clock.

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