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Comcast-Time Warner Cable $45 billion merger officially dead

2015-04-27 10:20 by
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More than a year after it announced plans to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion, Comcast said that it has dropped the merger. The withdrawal was a result of federal regulators's denial to approve the deal. Last week Justice Department staff attorneys recommended that the merger be blocked.

"It wasn't going to happen. That was the judgment that we heard and the government had reached," Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said Friday on CNBC. "We have to live with it and respect that and move on."

A merger between the two companies would have created a pay-television giant with about 30 million subscribers. Regulators and consumers were concerned that such a behemoth would control between 40 percent and 57 percent of the public's access to broadband Internet, depending on how broadband is defined.

The decision is seen as a victory for consumers. More than 800,000 individuals have submitted comments to the FCC against Comcast's deal, according to the government watchdog group Common Cause.

"Regulators had never approved a merger over this much public opposition. Clearly, there was really stiff public opposition," says Todd O'Boyle, program director at Common Cause. "There was nobody that really wanted this. Nobody thought this was a good deal except Comcast and Time Warner Cable."

The FCC's chairman Tom Wheeler also welcomed Comcast's decision to stop the deal:

"Comcast and Time Warner Cable's decision to end Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable is in the best interests of consumers," Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement. "The proposed transaction would have created a company with the most broadband and video subscribers in the nation alongside the ownership of significant programming interests."

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