Comcast has officially dropped its bid for Time Warner, according to an official statement released by Comcast CEO, Brian Roberts. The proposed merger would have made Comcast the biggest service provider for cable television in the Country by a landslide. The bid for the company started last year, when Comcast proposed $45 billion merger.
With all proposals of this nature the FCC had to approve it according to Bruce Karatz. In an attempt to speed the process along Comcast planned to spin off some of its service into another service provider according to the LA Times, merging with a smaller lesser known cable provider in the Michigan area.
According to insiders, the announcement comes after the FCC recommended a “hearing designation order”. The hearing would have required both Time Warner Cable and Comcast to go before an administrative law judge to plead their case. The recommendation is rare, lengthy, costly and rarely ends in a win for the companies according to experts.
The Time Warner and Comcast merger is not the only large merger to fall through in recent years due to pressure by the FCC. In 2011, AT&T dropped their bid to merge with T-mobile when a hearing was recommended by commission staff. Echo Star and Direct TV also dropped a proposed deal in 2002 when the FCC also recommended a hearing under anti-competitive concerns.