Comcast 'flees $45bn monster-merger with Time Warner Cable'

Cable giant sees writing on the wall, cuts bait in biz gobble battle, says insider

Comcast is walking away from its proposed $45bn merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC), insiders claim.

Comcast will announce as early as Friday its intent to scrap its plans for the mega-acquisition, according to well-placed sources speaking to Bloomberg.

Comcast did not take up The Register's offer to deny the claims.

The decision by Comcast, America's biggest cable giant, to end its pursuit of TWC, the second-largest, does not come as a shock. Regulators and government officials have been lining up to shoot down the merger plan.

Since the deal was first announced, Comcast and TWC's rivals have begged US broadband watchdog the FCC to nix the merger. Critics say it would create a broadcasting behemoth able to drive up subscription costs while strong-arming TV networks and streaming websites into Comcast-TWC-friendly deals.

Comcast admitted as much when it promised that it would seek to dump 3.9 million subscribers onto smaller cable providers to sweeten the TWC acquisition.

Should the deal indeed be dead, it'll be interesting to see what Comcast may pay – if anything at all – to TWC for walking away. T-Mobile US took advantage of its failed merger with AT&T to collect a package worth $7.7bn. ®

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