EchoStar Merger Clock Restarts

The proposed EchoStar-DirecTV satellite television merger got back on schedule July 23 as the FCC restarted its 180-day clock for approval. The clock had been stopped since March 6 at day 78.

The 180-day clock is designed to give the merger applicants a timely review by the FCC. But the commission stopped the clock while it awaited documents from EchoStar.

The FCC also rejected arguments by NAB and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative objecting to the merger and to the FCC's document-gathering criteria.

Without further delays, the FCC could make a decision on the merger in November. But with markets tumbling and an EchoStar earnings announcement scheduled for Aug. 15, observers are bracing for more news that could affect the deal.