The FCC is very likely to block Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the reigning Worst Company in America and Most Hated Company in America, from completing their $45.2 billion super-megamorph into The Worst, Most Hated Company in America, a source familiar with the deal told Bloomberg today. Hey Comcast, have you tried turning it off and rebooting it?
Wednesday’s meeting between Comcast and TWC lawyers and FCC officials was a major hurdle for the merger of two non-monopolies-but-only-on-a-technicality into to one actual monopoly with no incentive to improve its terrible customer service—a hurdle the companies didn’t clear, according to Bloomberg’s source.
Opposition from the FCC, which met on Wednesday with Comcast and Time Warner Cable executives, was stronger than the Justice Department’s and could be the bigger obstacle. The companies left the meeting with the impression the deal was in trouble, according to the person.
FCC commissioners, feeling the merger wouldn’t be in the public interest, will reportedly order an administrative hearing, a rare move that’s been described as “ a death sentence” because it will very likely stretch out beyond Comcast’s window to close the deal.
“I’d never say anything was 100 percent dead, but this is in the 99 percent category,” Rich Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG in New York, told Bloomberg.
Comcast could choose to the fight the losing battle, but the structure of the deal includes no monetary penalty for walking away, so the company is expected not to throw any more time and money at the acquisition they spent more than a year trying to complete.
“Some Wall Street analysts now expect Comcast will walk away, abandoning 15 months of preparation while blaming the collapse of the merger on a Washington climate led by Democrats that is hostile to business.,” CNN Money reports.
If approved, the new company would’ve been far and away the largest cable provider in the U.S., with 20 million Comcast subscribers and 11 million TWC subscribers in its combined clutches and control of every major TV and cable internet market.
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