The delay comes at a sensitive time for major Internet service providers, including Comcast and Time Warner Cable as the FCC also considers new rules overseeing the Internet. An ruling on so-called net neutrality is expected early next year.
While the proposed merger between Comcast-Time Warner Cable and the net neutrality rules are not directly linked, it's likely to contribute to a combative atmosphere between Internet service providers and government regulators.
"If Comcast had a greater share of the Internet access market, their power to control it grows greater," said Jeremy Gillula, staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The combination of the company's would be an issue regardless of what the FCC decides on net neutrality, Gillula added.
The fundamental question the FCC is considering is whether the combination of the two companies would be in the best interest of the public.
Early in December, the FCC learned that 7,000 pages of documents had been "withheld based on an inappropriate claim of attorney-client privilege," and last week discovered an additional 31,000 pages had not been submitted due to "vendor error," according to a letter from the agency to the two companies.