Comcast, Time Warner drop proposal

Published 10:27 pm Friday, April 24, 2015

Charter customers in Suffolk are going to stay Charter customers, rather than being switched to Comcast as they might have under a deal that was ultimately scrapped this week.

Officials announced on Friday that the $45 billion bid by Comcast to acquire Time Warner Cable was not going forward. As part of the deal, Comcast had planned to swap 1.6 million subscribers with Charter.

“What happens to the Charter customers is that they stay Charter customers,” said Alex Dudley, Charter’s senior vice president for communications. “They don’t have to do anything or change anything. We’re cool with that, and we hope they are, too.”

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Dudley said Comcast withdrew its bid after “it became clear it wasn’t going to pass regulatory muster in Washington.” The proposed merger was first announced last spring.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said FCC staff had “serious concerns that the merger risks outweighed the benefits to the public interest.”

“Comcast and Time Warner Cable’s decision to end Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable is in the best interests of consumers,” Wheeler said in a press release. “The proposed transaction would have created a company with the most broadband and video subscribers in the nation alongside the ownership of significant programming interests.

“Today,” he continued, “an online video market is emerging that offers new business models and greater consumer choice. The proposed merger would have posed an unacceptable risk to competition and innovation, especially given the growing importance of high-speed broadband to online video and innovative new services.”