Comcast may be planning to call off its merger with Time Warner Cable, according to news reports. A formal announcement could come as early as Friday, but the decision has already been made, sources say.
The $45 billion merger, which would consolidate an already-concentrated industry by uniting the two largest cable operators in the United States, remains in limbo as Washington scrutinizes the deal.
A federal appeals court blocked the FCC from ordering the disclosure of programming contracts as part of the U.S. government’s review of Comcast’s takeover of Time Warner Cable. The court sided with media companies, which warned that such a move will put them at a competitive disadvantage. The FCC disclosure requirement was put on hold pending a court review of a lawsuit filed earlier this month by CBS and other media companies seeking to block release of the contracts.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a speech at startup incubator 1776 that the FCC planned to promote more choices for high-speed broadband and protect competition, because a lack of adequate consumer choice inhibits innovation, investment and economic benefits. Wheeler’s comments could hold implications for Comcast’s efforts to buy Time Warner Cable, which could adversely affect future competition.