Comcast is planning to drop its $45.2 billion bid for Time Warner Cable, Bloomberg reports, citing “people with knowledge of the matter.” The company will reach a final decision on Thursday and could make a formal announcement as soon as Friday, according to Bloomberg. Comcast declined to comment to Bloomberg.
Should Comcast walk away, it would spell the end of a mega-merger that would have created a company with some 30 million customers and control of more than 57 percent of the market for broadband and 30 percent of the market for pay TV. Late last week, Bloomberg reported that lawyers at the Justice Department were getting ready to recommend blocking the Comcast–Time Warner Cable deal on antitrust concerns.
Comcast met with officials at the Department of Justice on Wednesday, and late that night the Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Communications Commission had recommended the proposed merger head to a hearing—a decision widely viewed as a death knell for the deal. “Mergers are never put to hearing in order to approve them,” Robert McDowell, a former Republican commissioner of the FCC, told the Journal over the weekend. “They are designated for a hearing in order to kill them.”