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NTL and Telewest are weeks away from cementing their merger, according to a report by The Independent on Sunday.

The paper cites insiders who say that the deal looks set to be inked by the end of July, just in time for those behind the £6.8bn merger to complete the paperwork before pushing off for a well-earned rest and a month in the sun.

The marriage of the UK's two cablecos has been on the cards for years but it's only recently that the pair have managed to clear the decks to thrash out a deal.

With the triple play offering of TV, phone and broadband the enlarged group would provide a sizeable player in the market against satellite broadcaster Sky and dominant UK telco BT.

High level talks between the two cablecos kicked off in June after both sides hired financial advisors to help with negotiations.

A merger would create a cableco with annual revenues of around £3.3bn and some five million punters. ®

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