Time Warner Cable is getting swallowed by the only monster bigger than itself: Comcast. That means the biggest cable provider, Comcast, is buying the second biggest cable provider, Time Warner Cable, to form a ridiculously ginormous cable company that’ll deliver unsatisfying service under one iron fist. We should all hold each other as big cable just gets bigger and badder.
Editor’s Note: Yes, this is a US deal, but it’s a big deal. One that’s likely to inform future discussions about things like Net Neutrality and Piracy.
The NY Times is reporting that Comcast is going to announce an all stock deal to snag TWC worth $US44 billion. It’s a bit unexpected since the rumour mill had pointed to Charter trying to buy TWC out but it looks like the big shark in the tank (that would be Comcast) bit first.
CNN reports that Comcast and TWC both expect the acquisition to pass through the magnifying glass of the government and hope to get the deal done by the end of the year. If this deal does end up happening, TWC’s 12 million cable customers (a lot of them in big cities like NYC and LA) will be added to Comcast’s 23 million full Rolodex. That’s 35 million subscribers, which is more than a tenth of the US population.
Of course, when you’re dealing with two heavyweight buffoons trying to form Voltron like this (or whatever the incompetent version of Voltron would be) in the same industry, you’re bound to run into some antitrust issues from the regulators and screams of monopolies by people like us. The powers that be will definitely have their say in this deal so even though the billions are being flashed around right now, nothing is done done yet. Remember, AT&T tried to buy T-Mobile and got shot down by the government. That could theoretically happen again.
But make no mistake, it’s clear that Comcast wants to get bigger. It’s unclear what that’ll mean for the rest of us.