Comcast has announced that it won’t be merging with Time Warner after all. A little over a year ago the two companies announced plans to combine in a $45 billion merger that would have created the largest cable provider in the US.

The move faced plenty of scrutiny from regulators and the public, and now Comcast says it’s pulling out of the deal.

comcast logo

The companies had argued that the merger wouldn’t have been anti-competitive, because Comcast and Time Warner largely operated in different markets. But the deal would have given a single company a huge amount of control over the US cable TV and internet service market.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler says the decision to end the merger is the right one, and that it’s “in the best interest of consumers,” since the combined market would have “posed an unacceptable risk to competition and innovation” in the online video market where new business models are emerging.

In other words if Comcast and Time Warner had persisted in trying to go through with their original plans, the FCC might have attempted to put a stop to the deal.

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11 replies on “Comcast/Time Warner merger is dead”

  1. FCC says, “You scratch my back… and I’ll scratch mine”.

    Comcast was a strong ally for the FCC in its push for net “neutrality”. They did this hoping to win favor. I bet they’re regretting that now!

    1. Part of me wonders if the FCC put that carrot in front of Comcast, “hey, you want this merger? Well maybe you should help us push net ‘neutrality’… hmm??”

    2. That’s not really true:

      They wanted net neutrality on their terms — i.e. without the government having any power to enforce it. How long do you think they would have been fans if left to their own devices?

      Also, the Justice Department was looking into the possibility that Comcast violated a previous consent decree in relation to the take over of NBC Universal, where they had agreed not to interfere with the management of the online service, Hulu. It looks as though they got their partners to kill the sale of Hulu to a potential rival, making promises they have since reneged on.

      Comcast is not to be trusted.

  2. Comcast is learning that having a reputation as one of the nation’s worst major corporations has consequences. It was public opinion that destroyed this deal, and that public opinion almost universally agreed that it would have been a very bad deal for consumers.

  3. Yes! We need more competition, not less. These cable companies charge way too much for data. Where’s my $70/mo. 1Gbps symmetric fiber?

    1. Mine’s coming sometime in the next 18 months, with any luck. I have the fortune of living in Google Fiber’s second city (Austin, TX), though I also have the misfortune of living at the wrong end of the city — they’re working their way slowly northward.

      Unfortunately wiring an entire city with fiber is no small task. Here’s a map of all the permits Google’s had to obtain from the city so far:

      1. “Unfortunately wiring an entire city with fiber is no small task. Here’s a
        map of all the permits Google’s had to obtain from the city so far”

        So Google fronts the money and investment into doing this not-so-small task, just for the govt to come along on a whim and nationalize it by saying “hey, public utility!”

        1. What on earth are you talking about? Nobody’s nationalized or nationalizing anything.

          If you really think that the recent net neutrality decision was nationalization, then you really don’t understand what nationalization means.

  4. Yes, indeed! Now on to getting rid of legislation that restricts municipal competition to internet providers!

Comments are closed.