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Comcast Drops TWC Merger Deal

Back in February last year, Comcast suggested a takeover merger of Time Warner Cable at a value of $45.2 billion, which would make it an even larger broadband cable provider than it already is, covering over 40 percent of the U.S. market.

The deal faced a great deal of public opposition, and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler also expressed serious doubt about whether the merger will truly benefit consumers. Now, Comcast announced that it is withdrawing from the deal.

"Today, we move on. Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn't agree, we could walk away," said Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts in a press release.

Over the past few months, Comcast faced massive public opposition to the merger, scrutiny from Tom Wheeler at the FCC, along with a possible incoming lawsuit from the DOJ.

Recently, the FCC re-classified cable broadband providers as Title II providers, which includes Net Neutrality rules that prevent blocking websites (so long as the content is not illegal), throttling, and paid prioritization, and they increased transparency. Under these rules, the ISPs would no longer be able to dictate who has better access to their networks, and they would no longer be able to build so-called "fast lanes" for content providers that paid extra. The fear is that an ISP the size of Comcast and TWC together will have the power to abuse its customers in other ways.

Fortunately, Comcast structured the deal in such a way that it could back out if it was faced with too much regulatory pressure, meaning that aside from all the time that went into attempting to make the deal happen, from here on out there are no further costs.

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  • dstarr3
    Good.
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    Now that $45 billion can be spent on better customer support and "great products" to more markets ..... NOT.
    Reply
  • jfby
    Now that $45 billion can be spent on better customer support and "great products" to more markets ..... NOT.

    At least in my area where Google has announced interest Comcast SEEMS to be putting in more effort to have higher, more reliable speed.

    Regardless I'm going to drop Comcast quick if/when anything comparable comes to town. Hopefully that's Google in the next few years.
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    15741855 said:
    Now that $45 billion can be spent on better customer support and "great products" to more markets ..... NOT.

    At least in my area where Google has announced interest Comcast SEEMS to be putting in more effort to have higher, more reliable speed.

    Regardless I'm going to drop Comcast quick if/when anything comparable comes to town. Hopefully that's Google in the next few years.

    It's a shame that it takes the threat of possible competition before Comcast/other cable incumbents do anything to increase their service.

    Reply
  • stevenrix
    This is for once good news. I am not sure the deal is 100% over, it will take one crooked politician to be subdued and they will do it all over again. Never take anything for granted in life and it's true for business mergers.
    Also 8 years ago I remember there was a project under Obama to improve network infrastructure all over the US, this project was compared to the historical railroad construction, and fell through, it seems like the ISPs took the money and ran with it and/or did not comply with this project.

    Reply
  • Saberus
    Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts, your words ring hollow to me, and stink to high heaven. Everyone could see this wasn't about service, it was about greed. When your own shill and former lobbyist, now head of the FCC, scrutinized the deal and felt it wasn't in the best interest of consumers, you know this deal was nothing short of a power grab to bilk more people with your subpar services and pricing.

    I'm quite relieved that Chairman Wheeler didn't just push a pro-Concrap agenda and actually sided with the people.
    Reply
  • littleleo
    Great news, but they are probably waiting for the attention to die down then they and the congressmen in their pocket will try and sneak it through again.
    Reply
  • wiyosaya
    15742369 said:
    This is for once good news. I am not sure the deal is 100% over, it will take one crooked politician to be subdued and they will do it all over again. Never take anything for granted in life and it's true for business mergers.
    Also 8 years ago I remember there was a project under Obama to improve network infrastructure all over the US, this project was compared to the historical railroad construction, and fell through, it seems like the ISPs took the money and ran with it and/or did not comply with this project.
    Actually, from what I understand, fiber was laid in many areas of the country. In upstate NY, I saw it being laid along I-90. However, from my understanding, it is precisely ISPs like TWC that decided not to use it. Why ISPs are not using it anywhere in the country, I cannot say; however, I am willing to bet that it gives them further excuses to continue to gouge their customers' bank accounts.
    Reply
  • hackholm
    "Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities"

    Umm, you still can, there is absolutely nothing stopping you. It's this thing called 'competition' which, being a cable company, you are obviously not familiar with...
    Reply
  • rawoysters
    "I'm quite relieved that Chairman Wheeler didn't just push a pro-Concrap agenda and actually sided with the people".

    I am too. I have to say, I was one who couldn't bevielve that this man was put in charge of the FCC, but he stood up for what people wanted and never waivered. Props to him and I'm gladly eating crow.
    Reply