Comcast and Time Warner Cable yesterday announced they had scrapped their mega-merger plans, amid opposition from US antitrust regulators to the tie-up of the cable and broadband Internet giants.
“Today, we move on,” Comcast chairman Brian Roberts said in announcing the end of a $45 billion deal.
“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.”
TWC said in a separate statement the two firms had “mutually agreed to terminate their merger agreement,” which had drawn criticism from consumer activists and some lawmakers for giving too much market power to a single firm.
“The companies’ decision to abandon this deal is the best outcome for American consumers,” said Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement.
Comcast and TWC — spun off in 2009 from media giant Time Warner — had argued the deal would not hamper competition because their territories have little overlap. They also said cable was getting increasing competition from video streaming services Netflix and Amazon, among others.
If allowed to proceed, the deal would have given the combined firm more than 30 million customers over a large swath of the United States.
It would also give Comcast a unique position because of its ownership of NBCUniversal — which includes the NBC television network and other channels. Comcast’s role as network owner and television provider could create conflict with other carriers.
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