Comcast is reportedly planning to abandon its $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable amidst pressure from the Department of Justice and FCC for an administrative hearing.
Bloomberg reported Thursday that undisclosed sources say Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is bowing to regulator pressure and will walk away from the deal. (See What If the Comcast Merger Fails? and Comcast Merger May Hinge on Hulu.)
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier in the day that its sources suggest the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering issuing a hearing designated order that would leave the fate of the merger up to an administrate law judge, who would rule on if the combined company would benefit the public interest.
If the FCC hearing were to take place, it would likely take months to complete -- long past the cable companies' timelines for closing. With the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice also apparently opposing the deal, this would more than likely be a death sentence for the merger. (See DoJ May Sue to Block Comcast-TWC Merger.)
If this sounds familiar, it's because the FCC also requested this type of hearing for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s 2011 acquisition of T-Mobile US Inc. , ultimately causing AT&T to abandon its bid. (See AT&T Drops Bid to Acquire T-Mobile.)
It's under these circumstances that Comcast is considering walking away before it is forced to anyway. Bloomberg suggests Comcast may give official word as soon as Friday as it deliberates its next step today.
— Sarah Thomas, , Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading