The $45 billion marriage of Comcast and Time Warner Cable may be left at the altar, after reports surfaced today that Comcast itself might walk away from the deal.
According to Bloomberg, an announcement could come as soon as this Friday. TechCrunch has reached out to Comcast for comment on the news. The FCC declined to comment on the reports, as the transactions are still under review.
The deal has long been a contentious proposition, as it would lead to the creation of an even larger conglomerate in the telecom space, a market vertical that is already too consolidated in the eyes of many. It’s simple to make an argument against the deal in anti-competitive terms.
The report that Comcast is dropping the deal comes as the FCC staff recommended a hearing on the merger. Such a move would put the deal in the hands of an administrative law judge, likely killing it. The Wall Street Journal reported that Time Warner Cable was already pursuing a “Plan B” in case the deal fell through.
Recently on TechCrunch, Senator Al Franken penned an op-ed saying that “the tide is turning against Comcast’s proposal to buy Time Warner cable.” It appears that the Senator was nearly prescient when he wrote that, in regards to the deal potentially passing, “Wall Street is no longer betting that the deal is a sure thing, and prognosticators have lowered their odds that it will happen.”
In response to the news, Comcast shares, already up on the day, quickly spiked an extra percent or so, but those gains were quickly surrendered. Time Warner Cable also picked up modest momentum on the news of the deal’s potential demise.