Comcast scraps US$45.2bn merger with Time Warner Cable

24 Apr 2015

Comcast has scrapped plans to merge with Time Warner Cable in what would have been a US$45.2bn merger deal combining the two largest cable and broadband providers in the US.

The development occurs just a day after the Federal Communications Commission said it planned to oppose the deal based on concerns that the merger would not be helpful to consumers.

The deal also faced opposition from industry players who feared the merger would have created a new monopoly that would stifle competition.

Together Comcast and Time Warner Cable would have controlled 54pc of the entire US internet market.

The scrapping of the merger comes 14 months after it was first announced.

Comcast’s board met last night to finalise the decision and an official announcement is expected today.

A win for net neutrality?

Companies that stand to gain from the collapse of the merger include Amazon and Netflix, companies that would have been strong proponents of net neutrality and would have opposed the threat of a two-tier internet.

One cause of concern that raised hackles at the US Justice Department was whether Comcast was actively involved when co-investors 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney tried to sell Hulu in 2013, despite agreeing to be a passive investor when it acquired a stake through the purchase of NBCUniversal.

The decision by the FCC to call a hearing killed any chance of the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger succeeding as it would have taken months to complete.

Comcast image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years