Friday 28 April 2017

Comcast abandons $45bn Time Warner Cable merger

Brian Roberts, president and CEO of Comcast Corporation, speaks during a press conference in New York on February 11, 2004. Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, made a hostile bid to buy Walt Disney Co. for $54.1 billion in stock, increasing pre
Brian Roberts, president and CEO of Comcast Corporation, speaks during a press conference in New York on February 11, 2004. Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, made a hostile bid to buy Walt Disney Co. for $54.1 billion in stock, increasing pre

Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc said on Friday they had abandoned their proposed $45bn merger.

Comcast said the deal had been structured in a way that if the U.S. government didn't agree, the companies could walk away.

"Today, we move on," Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts said in a statement.

The deal had faced vocal criticism from some politicians, media company executives and diverse consumer and industry groups, who had worried it would create a monolith with too much control over what Americans do online and watch on TV.

Comcast shares were up 1.2 percent at $59.94 in premarket trading, while Time Warner Cable shares were down 0.5 percent at $148.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said on Friday that the merger would have posed an "unacceptable risk to competition and innovation".

The U.S. cable TV industry has been rapidly consolidating in the past few years as it grapples with the rising popularity of satellite TV and Web-based entrants such as Netflix Inc .

"Today, we move on," Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts said in a statement.

Comcast shares were up 1.3 percent at $59.99 in premarket trading, while Time Warner Cable shares were up 0.83 percent at $149.99

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