The Hill’s cable provider, Time Warner Cable, is merging with Comcast Corporation. The TWC board agreed to the sale on Feb. 12.
This $45.2 billion transaction unites the nation’s two biggest cable providers. Comcast has 22 million customers and with TWC’s 11 million subscribers, the new firm will have 33 million cable subscribers.
But Comcast is prepared to divest systems totaling three million subscribers to limit the new entity’s size to 30 million. TWC and Comcast currently do not share nor compete in any areas.
The proposed merger requires Federal Communications Commission approval and Congressional hearings are expected. Company officials are optimistic on its approval. One reason is the lack of any overlapping markets.
Charter Communications had been pursuing TWC for nearly a year, but never made a bid that appealed to the TWC board. Comcast is offering nearly $160 per share in stock. Shareholders of both corporations must still approve the proposal.
In a press release, the companies said, “The new cable company … will generate multiple pro-consumer and pro-competitive benefits, including an accelerated deployment of existing and new innovative products and services for millions of customers. Comcast’s subscribers today have access to the most comprehensive video experience, including the cloud-based X1 Entertainment Operating System, plus 50,000 video-on-demand choices on television, 300,000 plus streaming choices on XfinityTV.com, Xfinity TV mobile apps that offer 35 live-streaming channels plus the ability to download to watch offline later, and the newly launched X1 cloud DVR. Comcast is also a technology leader in broadband and has increased Internet speeds 12 times in the past 12 years across its entire footprint.”