Comcast, Time Warner Cable Call Off $45.2 Billion Merger

| by Kathryn Schroeder
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Comcast has announced that their proposed $45.2 billion merger with Time Warner Cable will not happen.

"Today, we move on," Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said. "Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn't agree, we could walk away."

Time Warner Cable released their own statement calling the end to the merger a “mutual” decision.

"We have always believed that Time Warner Cable is a one-of-a-kind asset," said Time Warner Cable CEO Robert Marcus. "We are strong and getting stronger. Throughout this process, we've been laser focused on executing our operating plan and investing in our plant, products and people to deliver great experiences to our customers."

The possible merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the two largest cable and broadband companies in the U.S., was announced in February, reports The Verge. Given the size of the two companies, there was opposition from both consumers and regulators.

Comcast argued that because the two served different markets and consumers would not notice a reduction in the amount of competition. It also planned to create a divide for some Time Warner Cable subscribers so it would maintain its ownership of the U.S. cable TV market to under 30 percent. Even with such actions, Comcast would have controlled a significant portion of the U.S. broadband market.

Rumors have surfaced that the deal was actually dropped earlier this week after Comcast and Time Warner Cable met with the FCC and Justice Department, who have both expressed concerns over the merger.

FCC chair Tom Wheeler issued a statement about the decision to end the merger.

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

"Today, an online video market is emerging that offers new business models and greater consumer choice," he continued. "The proposed merger would have posed an unacceptable risk to competition and innovation, including to the ability of online video providers to reach and serve consumers.

"I am especially proud of our close working relationship throughout the review process with the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice," Wheeler added. "Our collaboration provided both agencies with a deeper understanding of the important issues of innovation and competition that the proposed transaction raised."

Sources: USA Today, The Verge 

Photo Source: Mike Mozart/Flickr