Comcast announced today that it will buy Time-Warner Cable in an $45B all-stock deal. Whoa.
The friendly takeover comes as a surprise after months of public pursuit of Time Warner Cable by smaller rival Charter Communications Inc, and immediately raised questions as to whether it would pass the scrutiny of anti-trust regulators. Comcast will pay $158.82 per share, which is roughly what Time Warner Cable demanded from Charter. The combined company would divest 3 million subscribers, about a quarter of Time Warner’s 12 million customers. Together with Comcast’s 22 million video subscribers, the roughly 30 million total would represent just under 30 percent of the U.S. pay television video market. The new cable giant would tower over its closest video competitor, DirecTV, which has about 20 million video customers.
Comcast bought NBC-Universal last year for $17B.