Print 72 comment(s) - last by EasyC.. on Feb 19 at 6:19 AM

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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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
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).
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.

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!

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
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.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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