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The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2014

Big cable just got much bigger: Comcast confirmed that it has acquired Time Warner Cable (TWC) in an all-stock transaction. 

According to a joint press release by Comcast and TWC, the former acquired the latter for $45.2 billion, merging the two largest U.S. cable companies. 

"The combination of Time Warner Cable and Comcast creates an exciting opportunity for our company, for our customers, and for our shareholders," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Corporation. "In addition to creating a world-class company, this is a compelling financial and strategic transaction for our shareholders. Also, it is our intention to expand our buyback program by an additional $10 billion at the close of the transaction.

"We believe there are meaningful operational efficiencies and the adjusted purchase multiple is approximately 6.7x Operating Cash Flow. This transaction will be accretive and will yield many synergies and benefits in the years ahead. Rob Marcus and his team have created a pure-play cable company that, combined with Comcast, has the foundation for future growth. We are looking forward to working with his team as we bring our companies together to deliver the most innovative products and services and a superior customer experience within the highly competitive and dynamic marketplace in which we operate."


[SOURCE: Compare Satellite]

The deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2014 (after approval by stockholders and regulators, of course), will give TWC investors 2.875 Comcast stock for each of their shares. TWC shares are valued at $158.82 a piece.
 
TWC shareholders will own about 23 percent of Comcast’s common stock, and the press release said Comcast plans to buy back an additional $10 billion of its shares. 
 
The deal will up Comcast’s free cash flow per share and produce savings of about $1.5 billion. The overall acquisition values TWC at at about $69 billion including net debt.
 
The National Cable Television Association said Comcast and TWC merged would account for almost three-quarters of the cable industry. 
 
This is sad news for Charter Communications Inc., which had been pursuing a potential deal with TWC since June 2013. Charter's offer to TWC was $132.50 per share. 
 
Charter won't likely trump Comcast's bid, but it could grab some extra subscribers from the acquisition. Comcast will reportedly divest about 3 million subscribers of the acquisition in order to keep its market share below 30 percent -- meaning Charter could potentially buy whomever Comcast is willing to sell.
 
Up until the Comcast acquisition, both Comcast and Charter were talking an asset sale after the supposed Charter acquisition of TWC. But a meeting last week reportedly ended with Comcast threatening to do the deal itself without Charter. Comcast wanted to do an all-stock deal, have a say in how Charter dealt with its proxy fight with TWC, and pushed Charter to divest more assets.
 
With Comcast jumping ahead and doing the deed itself, it has now gained more than 11 million residential subscribers, not to mention it also gets access to the New York City cable market. This will likely allow it to hash out better deals with content providers. However, big cable is now huge, with Comcast clearly dominating the market more than ever. We'll have to wait and see if the deal passes regulatory approval, but Comcast is likely hoping that won't be an issue if it sells off some of its customers. 

Source: Comcast



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Monopoly
By Torgog on 2/13/2014 11:19:49 AM , Rating: 5
I smell a price increase...




RE: Monopoly
By McGaiden on 2/13/2014 11:40:53 AM , Rating: 5
Comcast is now the Standard Oil of cable TV and soon TV itself.

It must be broken up, but its executives are big donors to the dems. David Cohen, the VP of Comcast, is a personal friend to Obama.

And the GOP is more slavishly committed to big business than the dems(who are bad enough). Basically, we need to start public pressure on this issue.

Effective monopolies are never good.


RE: Monopoly
By superstition on 2/13/14, Rating: -1
RE: Monopoly
By jRaskell on 2/13/2014 2:40:53 PM , Rating: 5
The environment US cable companies operate in is SOO far from being capitalism that it's laughable to even use that word anywhere near a discussion concerning cable companies.


RE: Monopoly
By superstition on 2/13/2014 4:42:29 PM , Rating: 2
Find me an environment that isn't SOO far.


RE: Monopoly
By ebakke on 2/13/2014 6:14:53 PM , Rating: 2
craigslist


RE: Monopoly
By superstition on 2/13/14, Rating: -1
RE: Monopoly
By ebakke on 2/13/2014 6:57:49 PM , Rating: 4
You wanted an environment that wasn't so far from capitalism. You didn't want, and I didn't give you, an environment that is *pure* capitalism. Move the goal post back to its original position.


RE: Monopoly
By superstition on 2/14/2014 11:03:25 AM , Rating: 2
Your example exists primarily within a framework that counts as "SOO far". Craigslist is a really poor example of a functioning capitalist government/society.


RE: Monopoly
By ebakke on 2/14/2014 11:49:34 AM , Rating: 3
Of course craigslist is a terrible example of any type of government or society. It's not a government, and it's not a society.

It's an environment that's as far removed from government interference as anything I can think of. Individuals/businesses engage in trade without coercion and without artificial manipulation by government. It's an environment that's *much* closer to true capitalism than the environment in which you purchase healthcare, for example. Or in which you purchase internet. Or in which you buy/sell alcohol.

Again, you wanted an example of an environment with less interference than currently exists in the cable internet service industry. I gave it to you.


RE: Monopoly
By superstition on 2/16/2014 9:04:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's an environment that's as far removed from government interference as anything I can think of.

Since it's encapsulated it isn't far removed at all, any more than doll house is far removed from reality.


RE: Monopoly
By superPC on 2/13/2014 4:56:53 PM , Rating: 1
An idiot knows capitalism is all about capital. Monopoly is the best way of achieving maximum capital gain.

Of course capitalism has to be counter balanced with FREE MARKET. Otherwise people that doesn't have much capital (regular Joes and Jane like most of us here) will only get less service for more expensive prices. And as we all know, it is IMPOSSIBLE to have a FREE MARKET if a company is monopolizing that said market. This is basic economy.


RE: Monopoly
By tanjali on 2/13/2014 5:07:01 PM , Rating: 3
As soon as there is monopoly, definition capitalism no longer apply because there is no truly free market there after.


RE: Monopoly
By superstition on 2/13/2014 6:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
Where is the regulation going to come from? The sky? The market is supposed to be able to magically regulate itself but it doesn't. You get cartels or monopolies. You get politicians who are bought and paid for.

People love to pretend that capitalism exists but what it really is is a veneer on plutocratic socialism.

People can look up Sonny Bono's Copyright Term Extension Act if they don't believe me.


RE: Monopoly
By Reclaimer77 on 2/13/2014 8:12:29 PM , Rating: 1
There hasn't been a true monopoly in this country in like a hundred years.

Even this deal, as sucky as it is, only gives them 30% of the market.

Honestly you guys are going overboard. Capitalism isn't perfect, but its the best system mankind can come up with.


RE: Monopoly
By Camikazi on 2/13/2014 8:40:42 PM , Rating: 2
Comcast alone has close to 40% of the cable market share right now. They have double the subscribers of Time Warner (number 2 spot) and 4 times more than Cox (number 3 spot). With this merger they would end up with 6 times as many subscribers as Cox and more than all others put together.


RE: Monopoly
By rocketcuse on 2/14/2014 12:15:52 PM , Rating: 2
According to the CBS Nightly News report, the merger would give Comcast 65.8% of the market.


RE: Monopoly
By jbwhite99 on 2/14/2014 4:42:46 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't Windows a near monopoly? Or was a few years ago?


RE: Monopoly
By room200 on 2/13/2014 10:43:08 PM , Rating: 3
That can't be; according to all the posts I've read here, Obama is a socialist. Isn't THIS capitalism? Companies grow and grown and grow and the government keeps its nose out of the the business's business? Now all of a sudden, you want help from the gubment? I guess it's not bad until it affect some of your OWN pockets. LOL


RE: Monopoly
By DocScience on 2/14/2014 2:31:37 PM , Rating: 1
Obama is a crony capitalist in the style of the corrupt Chicago Machine.

His beliefs however have a strong flavor of socialism and social justice forced redistribution of other people's money.


RE: Monopoly
By room200 on 2/14/2014 4:24:33 PM , Rating: 4
Now there's something; you called the guy a capitalist and a socialist in the same post. That means either A) You're an idiot or B) You simply hate and will say anything stupid without caring whether or not it makes sense.


RE: Monopoly
By Dorkyman on 2/14/2014 4:07:46 PM , Rating: 1
OF COURSE Messiah is a socialist. It's how he was brought up, the mentors he had.

But people, you're all freaking out over nothing. The Feds won't allow this merger to take place. Simple as that.


RE: Monopoly
By room200 on 2/14/2014 4:21:26 PM , Rating: 4
Dude, once and for all...turn off Faux "News". It's not real. They don't even believe what they're saying. It's all for the money. They'll throw you red meat as long as you dummies swallow it.


RE: Monopoly
By EasyC on 2/19/2014 6:19:59 AM , Rating: 2
It's useless to tell them. They keep lapping up Faux news like a hungry kitten. That's how Faux news gets to be so ridiculous, like having "doctors" on saying that women can't get pregnant if raped.

Once I hear someone start talking about something they heard on Faux news, I stop listening and walk away. It's just not worth the head ache.


RE: Monopoly
By inperfectdarkness on 2/14/2014 3:56:03 AM , Rating: 4
Friend of the Dems? Then why is the GOP the ones pushing C/TW agenda by opposing net neutrality?


RE: Monopoly
By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/14, Rating: -1
RE: Monopoly
By room200 on 2/14/2014 11:13:40 AM , Rating: 2
lol


RE: Monopoly
By amanojaku on 2/13/2014 11:41:28 AM , Rating: 2
Pfft. Cable companies raise prices regardless. Back in 2012, TW raised its monthly rate from $49.95 to $52.95, despite cutting bandwidth in HALF. I used to get 800KB/sec down (about 6.5Mbit), now it's 400KB/sec. I confirmed this by maxing out my connections at home and at work. Work maxed out at 800KB/sec, what used to be the home max. And at one point, 10Mbit/sec was the advertised maximum, but I haven't seen that in years.

Oh, and in Oct. of 2012, TW also introduced a $4/month PERPETUAL modem rental fee. So, if you never change your modem, TW is making a profit from it after just one year. Bills went from $49.95/month to $56.95 for no good reason. Line quality sucks, too, going up and down at the drop of a hat.

Of course, you could just drop TW for another cable provider. Oh, wait, you CAN'T, because there AREN'T any. Gotta love government-granted monopolies. They're the only entities that can offer horrible service while making profits. I'm off the fence and switching to FiOS, hoping Verizon doesn't turn viper, too.


RE: Monopoly
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/13/14, Rating: 0
RE: Monopoly
By amanojaku on 2/13/2014 1:02:32 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
And this is most likely what explains your drop in speeds. Derp!
No, because the speeds I quoted are sustained speeds. You don't get 6.5Mbit/sec when the line is flapping. When the line is flapping, it averages around 30KB/sec (~250Kbit/sec).
quote:
As for modem rental fee, that is not new and has been around for YEARS, long before 2012.
See, this is what's wrong with today's consumer. We've become sheep, willing to rent something that is an intrinsic requirement for service. That fact that other companies have been ripping customers off with modem rental fees does not mean I'm going to let it happen to me. I shouldn't even have to buy my own modem, which will be obsolete when the next cable specification comes around. And you can be sure cable companies do NOT pay the full price of the modem, making their perpetual rental fee even more ridiculous.

Cable companies make a huge amount of money, despite receiving the worst scores of any industry. If they can offer triple play for $100/month and still make a profit, imagine how much they're making just from a $50/month internet customer. People like you need to wake up and stop taking it up the ass.


RE: Monopoly
By ritualm on 2/13/2014 1:12:42 PM , Rating: 2
My cable company charges $59 a month for 25/2 and a 80gb cap. A DSL company charges $50 dry loop for 25/10 (closer to symmetrical 10Mbit to west coast servers) and 300gb.

To get anywhere close to 10Mbit upload on cable, I'd have to pay $140 for 250/20.


RE: Monopoly
By fic2 on 2/13/2014 1:41:47 PM , Rating: 2
Do you own your own cell phone or rent one from your cell company or does your cell phone company give you one?
Same business model.

I bought a cable modem around '99. I still have it and it is still working fine. Back then the monthly rental fee was $3. So, by buying my cable modem I have saved ~$500. I think it cost about $50 and I got a $50 rebate.


RE: Monopoly
By amanojaku on 2/13/2014 4:00:52 PM , Rating: 2
To you and jjlj, a DVR and a cellphone are not the same as a cable modem. They are like your computer - they are the devices you use. The cable modem is part of the provider's network, and completely useless if you decide to switch to the only alternatives - DSL and fiber optic services. If you are unhappy with your cable provider and want to switch to another one, you have to MOVE.

And if you're telling me you've been renting your cable modem since '99, then I feel bad for you. TW never charged for cable boxes or cable modems, unless you wanted additional boxes. This is because the cost of the box is quickly made up by your monthly fees. Remember, you are a cable customer for life, because there are no alternatives UNLESS YOU MOVE OR SWITCH TO A TECHNOLOGY THAT RENDERS THE BOX USELESS.

With regards to backwards compatibility, according to the specs, DOCSIS is backwards compatible. However, in practice, I've had to replace the box a few times because the technicians said they were obsolete, not faulty. I thought that was nonsense, until the new box was installed. Suddenly, the connection was stable. I'd have thought it would just be slower, running at the older spec. Coincidentally, my troubles occurred when the networks were upgraded.

I can't believe people are so willing to pay for things that are supposed to be included in the price. Next thing you'll tell me is that we should pay an additional fee to be connected to cell phone towers. "Well, there's the cell phone service fee which gives you minutes, texts and a number, but that doesn't include a CONNECTION! " Retarded.


RE: Monopoly
By ebakke on 2/13/2014 6:22:11 PM , Rating: 1
In all the years I've had internet I don't think I've ever rented or borrowed an ISPs modem. I have DSL and cable modems and bring them with me when I move or switch providers.

Curious. In the dial up days did you provide your own modem?


RE: Monopoly
By amanojaku on 2/14/2014 1:01:50 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, you did, but dial up was not comparable to cable/DSL.

Dial up Internet was initially experimental and predated ISPs, so the people who had it were used to providing their own equipment. Additionally, you could use your own modem because no modem was obsolete or incompatible. I could pull out a modem from the '80s, and it will work with current dial up offered by AOL. An old modem worked perfectly when connected to newer provider infrastructure, because the underlying telephone network technology never changed. That was also the reason modems couldn't get much faster than 56Kbit/sec, because the phone line could only do 64Kbit/sec (8000 samples a second x 7 bits per analog sample [or 8 bits per digital sample - a DS0]) without compression. By the time compression was offered, DSL and cable became available, and anyone who wanted high bandwidth dumped analog modems.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_frequency
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DS0

When DSL and cable were first offered all of the equipment was provided, except the PC and NIC. The modem was considered to be an intelligent jack, and part of the provider's infrastructure. At least, that's how it worked here in the US when I was still a telco technician back in 1998. Since there were many, often incompatible, standards, and modems weren't sold to the public, the provider was responsible for providing equipment. There was SDSL, ADSL, SHDSL, VDSL... And only a few were compatible with each other. And with cable, if DOCSIS is supposed to be universal, you wouldn't need to check your ISP for a list of approved devices. Even the Toshiba and RCA modems TWC provided to me in the past aren't on the approved list any more. So much for backwards compatibility!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_subscriber_li...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_modem#DOCSIS
http://www.twc.com/approvedmodems


RE: Monopoly
By ebakke on 2/14/2014 10:17:15 AM , Rating: 2
It just doesn't seem like a big deal to me. A decade or two passed, the high speed internet modem technologies were standardized and now you can easily find a modem that will work whatever your provider. Sure, the technologies might change again in the future, and you might have to buy another. {shrug}

Ultimately I don't see any problem with either renting the provider's modem, or buying your own. In 1998 when the provider gave you the equipment, you still rented it even if they didn't have a line item on your bill. It was just rolled into the single cost of service, or into an exorbitant installation charge. Today it's a line item that you can choose to pay, or you can choose to work around. That seems much preferred to me.


RE: Monopoly
By jjlj on 2/13/2014 3:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
shouldn't even have to buy my own modem, which will be obsolete when the next cable specification comes around.


There's nothing wrong with owning your own modem. Do you "rent" your DVR? I don't, I use WMC and don't pay a DVR fee or a cable card fee, for the first card... I have comcast.

I don't see docsis 3 going anywhere anytime soon.


RE: Monopoly
By xti on 2/14/2014 4:24:13 PM , Rating: 2
i had the exact same issue, except i dont live in the middle of no where so there are plenty of options.


RE: Monopoly
By MrBlastman on 2/13/2014 11:45:08 AM , Rating: 2
I smell antitrust. This is BAD for everyone... except the company. The cable situation stinks bad enough as it is--to now give Comcast even more leverage to jack up prices?

No way. I hope Congress blocks this one.


RE: Monopoly
By Divide Overflow on 2/13/2014 12:39:10 PM , Rating: 2
I don't trust Congress to do the right thing and block this acquisition. We should be breaking monopolies like Comcast and Time Warner up instead of letting them merge! With the death of net neutrality, having one broadband provider with command of such a large market is a very dangerous situation for consumers.


RE: Monopoly
By tng on 2/13/2014 1:31:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't trust Congress to do the right thing and block this acquisition.
Yep, I imagine that Comcast contributes quite a bit of money to everybody's campaign funds...


RE: Monopoly
By JDHammer on 2/13/2014 1:30:57 PM , Rating: 2
You mean every comcrap customer or everyone who has cable?


RE: Monopoly
By MrBlastman on 2/13/2014 3:02:00 PM , Rating: 2
All of the above.

I have Comcast but I cancelled my cable a while ago. I just use them for internet. They keep begging me to come back to cable with deals they keep sweetening every month but I tell them--NO! Antenna isn't so bad.


RE: Monopoly
By bitterman0 on 2/13/2014 3:23:13 PM , Rating: 2
Antenna is actually great!

With transition to digital broadcasting, the sheer bandwidth of video data pumped through the air is staggering. When I was dropping Uverse back in 2010, I had a brief period of time when both aerial and Uverse were available for comparison side-by-side. There was no comparison - Uverse was destroyed by Antenna in terms of quality (not to mention 5-15 seconds reception delay) -- on exactly the same local channels. I can only imagine how bad it is with over-compressed satellite TV signals...

Sure, not everything is available over the aerial, but local channels - along with news and most of popular shows - are there. Is a minor inconvenience of not receiving some show that is being broadcast only on Comedy Channel worth $100+/month? YOU BET!


RE: Monopoly
By Labotomizer on 2/13/2014 12:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
In most major metro areas there's only one cable provider anyway. There's no markets that I'm aware of where TWC and Comcast compete. I really don't see much difference. They'll continue to compete with DirecTV/Dish and U-Verse/Fios. Not much changes.

In Houston Comcast offered much better services and far better internet connectivity than TWC does in San Antonio. So I'm not all that upset by this. Sure, Comcast gets more customers. But it's not like it changes the competitive landscape at all.


RE: Monopoly
By YearOfTheDingo on 2/13/2014 1:17:34 PM , Rating: 1
I know. People whining about this are either living in an alternate reality or are completely clueless. In most areas, the local governments have franchise agreement with a single cable company in exchange for a slice of the revenue. It might sound outrageous but that's the nature of the business. No one wants random jacks running around digging up the streets to lay cables.


RE: Monopoly
By LSUJester on 2/13/2014 3:38:16 PM , Rating: 2
As a resident of San Antonio, I confirm your analysis.


RE: Monopoly
By Mint on 2/13/2014 9:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In most major metro areas there's only one cable provider anyway. There's no markets that I'm aware of where TWC and Comcast compete.


Bingo.


RE: Monopoly
By Motoman on 2/13/2014 12:58:23 PM , Rating: 1
This is HORRIBLE for American consumers. Absolutely the WORST possible thing that could have happened in this industry.

Who in the f%ck in the related regulatory commisions thought this was a good idea? This will go down as one of the worst failures of anti-trust regulation ever in the history of the world. Mark my words.


RE: Monopoly
By Motoman on 2/13/2014 1:00:41 PM , Rating: 2
Ohhh...wait.

After looking back through the article, I now see there's no mention of the FCC and/or other regulatory bodies actually approving this sale.

/flame

Allow me to put my full trust in said regulatory bodies now to stop this malfeasance from coming to pass. *cough*


RE: Monopoly
By DocScience on 2/14/2014 2:33:13 PM , Rating: 2
We will see if Comcast's purchase of the platinum level membership in the Obama Fan Club was worth it.

I am going to say YES.


RE: Monopoly
By BZDTemp on 2/13/2014 2:49:13 PM , Rating: 3
Surely you're wrong.

Considering the reactions seen here when the EU takes issues with companies that holds market control, then surely Comcast grabbing control is perfectly fine. I mean after all they won't have a monopoly since there is alternatives like say satellite based Internet.


RE: Monopoly
By littlebitstrouds on 2/14/2014 12:53:40 PM , Rating: 2
We just grabbed Comcast's great package of 45ish basic channels and 50/25 internet for $60 a month, not bad. Oh crap my gf wants HGTV, that's just a 40 channel upgrade, shouldn't be too much right? Double. Double the price. Is this a joke?


RE: Monopoly
By Motoman on 2/14/2014 1:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
Also, here's a good cautionary tale of how having no choice in your cable provider can really screw you:

http://consumerist.com/2014/02/14/data-caps-are-th...


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