Comcast set to drop mega-merger with TWC

GMT 21:27 2015 Thursday ,23 April

Arab Today, arab today Comcast set to drop mega-merger with TWC

Comcast and TWC
Washington - AFP

US cable giant Comcast is preparing to abandon its plan for a mega-merger with rival Time Warner Cable in the face of opposition from antitrust regulators, a report said Thursday.

Bloomberg News, citing unnamed sources, said a formal announcement of the scrapping of the $45 billion deal could come on Friday.

The two companies did not comment on the report.

The news comes amid heightened scrutiny over the deal, which would boost the dominance of Comcast as a broadband and cable television provider in the US market.

A number of consumer groups have also opposed the deal saying it would give too much market power to a single conglomerate.

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 give 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 -- creating a potential for conflict with other carriers.

Earlier this week, reports said staff at the Federal Communications Commission had called for a hearing on the merger, creating a new obstacle to the deal announced in February 2014.

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