TW & Comcast Clinch Adelphia Purchase

Time Warner and Comcast made it official early this morning, clinching a deal to buy Adelphia Communications for about $17.6 billion in cash and stock. The joint venture by North America's two biggest MSOs, which beat out a last-minute bid by Cablevision Systems, won approval from the boards of Adelphia, Time Warner and Comcast. But the purchase still must gain favor from Adelphia's bankruptcy judge and creditors, the FCC and federal antitrust regulators. Both consumer groups and cable's satellite TV rivals have already made noises about fighting the deal. The advocacy groups are also trying to recruit cities now served by Adelphia to join in the battle. If the deal is approved, Time Warner will pick up 3.5 million basic cable subscribers while Comcast will add 1.8 million customers. Time Warner would gain cable dominance in such markets as Los Angeles and Cleveland while Comcast would gain greater clout in such areas as Washington, D.C. and Florida.

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