US giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable have abandoned a multibillion-dollar merger deal amid fears among regulators and competitors the tie-up would have given them too much influence on the market.
Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC) announced Friday they'd given up on their planned merger amid opposition from US regulators to the tie-up of the broadband Internet and cable giants.
The proposed deal had faced criticism from some politicians and media company executives who had worried it would create a monolith with too much control over what Americans did online or watched on television.
"Today, we move on," Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts said while announcing the end of the $45 billion (41.5 billion euros) deal. "Of course, we would have liked to bring our products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn't agree, we could walk away."
Best possible outcome?
The US Justice Department released a separate statement, saying it had told the firms they would make Comcast an unavoidable gatekeeper for Internet-based services that relied on a broadband connection to reach consumers.
Attorney General Eric Holder added "the companies' decision to abandon this deal is the best outcome for American consumers."
If allowed to materialize, the merger would have given the combined firm more than 30 million customers in a large area of the US.
Public Knowledge consumer activist John Bergmayer welcomed the news, saying "this is a huge victory for consumers." He added that the deal would have been able to stop new kinds of innovative video services dead in their tracks.
hg/sri (AFP, dpa, Reuters)