In a development that should surprise no one who’s been following the news this week, Bloomberg is now reporting that Comcast is planning to drop its bid to purchase Time Warner Cable. Bloomberg’s sources say Comcast could drop its bid in an announcement that could come as soon as Friday.
This news follows several reports from earlier in the week that both the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice were very skeptical of the merger’s purported benefits and were very unlikely to sign off on it. Comcast met privately with DOJ officials on Wednesday in a bid to rescue the deal but apparently there were no concessions that Comcast could offer that would get the DOJ to give its blessing to the merger.
Apparently, Comcast on Wednesday was prepared to offer behavioral concessions similar to the ones that it offered to get its merger with NBCUniversal over the finish line. However, these kinds of concessions are very hard to enforce and The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the DOJ is wary of dedicated the resources needed to do so.
Comcast last year announced that it planned to buy Time Warner Cable in a deal worth $45 billion. The two companies insisted that their joining would be beneficial for American consumers despite the fact that several customer satisfaction surveys have indicated that Comcast and Time Warner Cable are the two most disliked companies in the United States.