Well, Comcast’s investors have spoken and they’ve approved the $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc. This vote paves the way for the combining the two largest U.S. cable providers.
Comcast released the voting results in a statement after a shareholder meeting in Philadelphia and fully expects the transaction to finalize in early 2015. This deal gives the largest U.S. cable provider additional customers and a presence in the top two U.S. media markets, New York and Los Angeles.
However, don’t change that channel quite yet — the merger is still under review by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department. Regulators are trying to ensure that the merger won’t harm competition or consumers, including giving the combined company too much leverage in programming negotiations or allowing it to interfere with Internet traffic.
Netflix Inc. is among several companies that received demands for information about the merger from the Justice Department to help determine whether the acquisition is legitimate and also anticompetitive. State regulators are also looking over the merger with the New York Public Service Commission, which wields the power to reject the deal, and they’re set to vote on the matter Nov. 13th.
Comcast has said that the combination won’t harm competition (of course they did) and that the added scale will help it invest more in its networks (I’m sure it will).
Under the terms of the deal, investors will receive roughly a 3 to 1 on their Time Warner shares owned. But with Time Warner stock trading about 3 times higher than Comcast, it’s basically a break-even trade.
(Image Source: iCLIPART)