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If the TWC merger fails, Comcast could pursue an even more evil backup plan

Published Mar 6th, 2015 8:15AM EST
Comcast Time Warner Cable Merger Netflix Acquisition

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If its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable goes down, Comcast could make us regret it. Really, really regret it. BTIG Research analyst Rich Greenfield writes that if regulators shoot down the TWC merger, Comcast could turn its attention to buying up a number of other properties to bolster its business… including Netflix.

FROM EARLIER: Comcast finds an exciting new way to anger subscribers

“With Netflix now at a $30 billion market cap with most of its profits reinvested in overseas expansion, acquiring Netflix would be massively dilutive to Comcast shareholders,” Greenfield writes. “However, Netflix has no control shareholders and we have to imagine the board would listen to a truly compelling offer from Comcast.  Tech is hard and traditional media companies are simply not offering best-in-class apps across an array of devices.  With consumers increasingly interested in ad-free streaming, Netflix could provide Comcast with an incredible team and platform to learn from, which could accelerate Comcast’s virtual MVPD efforts. ”

Such a plan would be much easier to pass through regulators than the current TWC merger proposal, presuming Comcast could really get Netflix on board. However, the plan would also be a comically evil middle finger to cord cutters, many of whom have relied on Netflix as an alternative to paying Comcast more money for pricey cable bundles every month.

While this is all still highly speculative — we still have no idea if the Comcast-TWC merger will even be rejected, after all — it does show that killing off one of its merger plans won’t keep Comcast down for long.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.