Comcast to Withdraw Bid for Time Warner Cable (Report)

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Comcast and Time Warner Cable representatives declined to comment on the report.

Comcast is said to be withdrawing its megamerger bid for Time Warner Cable, according to a Bloomberg News report that cited unnamed sources.

Comcast and Time Warner Cable representatives declined to comment on the report.  

The latest setback for the $45.2 billion merger, a signal Wednesday from the FCC that the agency wasn't in favor of the deal, appears to have been the final straw. Comcast could be planning to formerly rescind its bid as early as tomorrow, according to sources.

On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal broke the news that the FCC was about to issue a "hearing designation order" that would put the issue into the hands of an administrative-law judge.

Besides lengthening an already-onerous process, the move would be a signal that the FCC deems that a merged Comcast and Time Warner would not be beneficial to consumers.

Comcast already had made concessions designed to persuade regulators to bless the deal, including a commitment to sell some of its systems to Charter Communications, though government officials surely would be asking much more from Comcast before the process was through.

Beyond the FCC, the U.S. Department of Justice is also reportedly against the merger, as are many consumer-advocate groups.

"If the news from the FCC is true, it would mean that Internet users can breathe a sigh of relief," said policy director Matt Wood of the nonpartisan group Free Press.

"Americans don't need a bigger Comcast; they need more choices for affordable and open broadband services nationwide," said Wood. "The rejection of this merger would reflect the FCC and the DOJ's renewed commitment to competition and consumer protection."

 

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