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Comcast Says Time Warner Merger Will Mean Faster Internet

By - Source: Comcast | B 53 comments

The deal is expected to be final by the end of the year.

The top two U.S. cable service providers, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, announced on Thursday a merger (or friendly takeover) worth $45.2 billion. The agreement will be a stock-for-stock transaction, with Comcast acquiring 100 percent of Time Warner Cable's 284.9 million shares outstanding for shares of Comcast. Time Warner Cable shareholders will thus own 23 percent of Comcast's common stock.

"The combination of Time Warner Cable and Comcast creates an exciting opportunity for our company, for our customers, and for our shareholders," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Corporation. "In addition to creating a world-class company, this is a compelling financial and strategic transaction for our shareholders."

Reuters reports that the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal may face "close scrutiny" from U.S. antitrust regulators because of the deal's potential to reshape the country's broadband and pay TV markets. The resulting company stemming from this deal would have a footprint stretching from New York City to Los Angeles. The company would also be in 19 of the 20 largest U.S. TV markets.

Time Warner Cable owns cable systems located in key areas including New York City, Southern California, Texas, the Carolinas, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Through the merger, Comcast will acquire approximately 11 million managed subscribers, but will divest 3 million, leaving 8 million. Between the two, the new company will have around 30 million subscribers, which is just under 30 percent of the U.S. pay television market.

What does this deal mean for subscribers? Comcast argues that customers will benefit from "technological innovations, including a superior video experience, higher broadband speeds, and the fastest in-home Wi-Fi." For businesses, the new company will be able to offer advanced services like "high-performance point-to-point and multi-point Ethernet services and cloud-based managed services to enterprises."

For now, the merger is expected to close by the end of the year. It is subject to shareholder approval at both companies and regulatory review and other customary conditions.

"I don't know if the deal is too big to fail to be approved, but it is definitely too big to sail through either the Department of Justice or the FCC without serious, serious examination," said former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt in speaking with Reuters. "Only Comcast could have paid this price and the combined company, if approved, would tilt the balance of power at every negotiating table in media and content and broadband and equipment industries."

Comcast helped reshape the U.S. media landscape back in January 2013 with the acquisition of NBCUniversal, taking a 51 percent stake in the media company from General Electric. Regulators approved the deal but with several conditions, one of which was that Comcast relinquish management rights of its minority stake in Hulu. Comcast now owns 100 percent of the company.

NBCUniversal LLC is the byproduct of that specific acquisition, which handles the NBC broadcast stations, the cable channels (USA, E!, SyFy and more), the Universal movie studio, and all the related theme parks.

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  • 20 Hide
    vmem , February 13, 2014 3:34 PM
    now I don't know if you've thought this through Comcast, but I'm not sure what I can do with 'faster internet' under the tyranny f your data caps... Perhaps you're trying to make me hit the cap faster so I'll cough up more dough?
  • 21 Hide
    zfreak280 , February 13, 2014 4:22 PM
    Not just no, but HELL NO. It's bad enough having to pay per GB with these clowns, but they are doing everything in their power to smash out the competition and make the consumer pay MORE for the same service that the competition offers. I hope, no I pray that the FCC shuts this deal down.
  • 14 Hide
    skit75 , February 13, 2014 4:22 PM
    Cox just doubled my internet connection speed(now ~70Mbps Down & ~13Mbps Up) two months ago at no cost. You're telling me that neither of these two cable providers can do anything like this, unless they become one? Sounds like BS to me. Historically, the consumer does not benefit from these mergers, despite the marketing/spin.
  • 9 Hide
    csbeer , February 13, 2014 4:38 PM
    Disgusting. If anything, the Federal government should be looking how to bust up these monopolies and get them the **** away from our buried cable (and regulate it like a utility). They are a monopoly, through and through. You should see what other countries get for $30 a month, it make me sick when I think our $ is going to Comcast so they can buy NBC and now Time Warner. Disgusting.
  • 18 Hide
    house70 , February 13, 2014 4:42 PM
    This is the same Comcast that (along with Verizon) is already throttling the competition (Netflix) on their network since the net neutrality got struck down by a sold-out judge. If anyone believes their spin on this, I am also selling Brooklyn Bridge.
  • -8 Hide
    mouse24 , February 13, 2014 4:45 PM
    As a previous time warner customer this isn't saying much, I mean its not like it can get any worse or any slower.
  • 11 Hide
    jdog2pt0 , February 13, 2014 5:05 PM
    This is the kinda stuff horror stories are made of. The ATT and TMobile merger got shutdown, and I think it pales in comparison to this one. Here's to hoping this one gets shutdown as well.
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , February 13, 2014 5:16 PM
    This will most likely go through for 2 reasons. FCC cannot regulate cable companies because they do not broadcast. They are not monopolizing a single carrier wave.Secondly, lol I would hate to be one of their customers. Cox is ... AWESOME; and they look awesome because Time Warner and Comcast are such [removed].

    Watch the language. - G
  • 5 Hide
    Camikazi , February 13, 2014 5:20 PM
    This will most likely go through for 2 reasons. FCC cannot regulate cable companies because they do not broadcast. They are not monopolizing a single carrier wave.Secondly, lol I would hate to be one of their customers. Cox is ... AWESOME; and they look awesome because Time Warner and Comcast are such [removed] .
    You think Comcast isn't already eyeing up Cox? Comcast has been buying up every major cable company it can pretty much since it was created.
  • 6 Hide
    thechief73 , February 13, 2014 5:25 PM
    Just frickin' great :-/ Because all we need in the US is less ISP competition, all communications for that matter, and even larger monopolies. Proud to be merican' my a&$. I place no hope in FCC ruling, they are a EPIC fail just like all other oversight.
  • 5 Hide
    osamabinrobot , February 13, 2014 5:32 PM
    100mbps internet wont matter much when its 25 dollars for 5gb, 35 for 10, and 50 for 25...
  • 3 Hide
    thechief73 , February 13, 2014 5:34 PM
    If they used all the money they stockpile from insane service rates and put it towards upgrading the infrastructure in the first place instead of buying up every other company in the country, their lame "customers will benefit..." all would be a moot to begin with.
  • 5 Hide
    Yuka , February 13, 2014 5:47 PM
    Hahaha, right... These guys are just backstabbing Netflixs' business model by introducing the caps and hurting the consumer at the end.It really puzzles me how the USA people can put up with stunts like this from big corps.Cheers!
  • -4 Hide
    zanny , February 13, 2014 6:06 PM
    Remember that these two were already systemically avoiding competing with each other - so prices aren't likely to go up, except for how the merged company will have much larger incentives to lobby at the national level since they are effectively doubling comcasts coverage area.
  • 4 Hide
    Caffeinecarl , February 13, 2014 6:07 PM
    As a previous time warner customer this isn't saying much, I mean its not like it can get any worse or any slower.
    It can ALWAYS get worse.
  • 4 Hide
    voreo , February 13, 2014 7:10 PM
    This makes me love being on CenturyLink even more, as i only need internet.Cable would be nice but not necessary
  • 2 Hide
    knowom , February 13, 2014 7:21 PM
    As a TWC customer I don't know if this is good, bad, or ugly TWC is rather piss poor itself. The problem is I haven't heard anything good about Comcast either so it'll probably just compound a bad situation for both customers with a even bigger monopoly.
  • -1 Hide
    joshuajtf@1375677444 , February 13, 2014 7:37 PM
    I'm rooting for the merger because I dislike both companies. The fact is, they are already doing a good job of being un-competitive and having one big cable company in all the major markets will help tilt the scale towards REGULATION and (in my ideal world) nationalization of the industry.If the market has a billion dollar barrier to entry, a few major players that 'negotiate' exclusive service areas, and is essential to the country and economy as a whole, AND on top of that provides sub-par service at very high costs while extracting a lot of wealth from the public, it should just be nationalized.I would like to see a non-profit or alternative internet provider pop up, but I have no idea how they would raise the billions required to lay a sustainable amount of fiber PLUS fight off all the lawsuits and hostilities from whatever monopoly/duopoly that currently owns the given area..
  • 2 Hide
    daekar , February 13, 2014 8:26 PM
    Ummm.. hell no. These companies already rank up with Monsanto as soul-sucking evil... we don't need to hand them a "screw us even more please" permit.
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