One of the biggest-ever media deals is dead. Comcast is planning to walk away from its proposed $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable , Bloomberg reported on Thursday night.
The reason was said to be opposition from U.S. regulators.
Comcast’s board was expected to finalise the decision on Thursday, said Bloomberg, and an announcement might come as soon as Friday.
Comcast had been facing growing resistance in Washington. This week, U.S. Federal Communications Commission staff joined lawyers at the Justice Department opposing the transaction.
FCC officials told representatives of the two big companies cable companies on Wednesday that they were “leaning toward concluding the merger doesn’t help consumers,”a person with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.
The deal has been awaiting regulatory approval for more than a year. If an FCC hearing had gone ahead , it could have taken months to complete – dragging out the approval process beyond the companies’ time frame for completion.
Bloomberg News reported last week that Justice Department staff was also leaning against the deal.
Comcast shares rose 0.8 percent to $59.23 at the close in New York, while Time Warner Cable slid 0.6 percent to $148.76.
Both Comcast and Time Warner Cable declined to comment.
The deal would have created a cable and Internet juggernaut serving 57 percent of U.S. homes that receive broadband at speeds that meet the FCC standard set in January.
Time Warner Cable’s future is now in in limbo, said Bloomberg. Executives at the company are planning to tell shareholders in an earnings conference call next Thursday how the company is prepared to survive as a standalone company, according to one source.