The US home entertainment company Comcast has confirmed that it is buying its smaller rival Time Warner Cable in a multibillion-dollar takeover. The acquisition will make it a dominant force in the US cable market.
On Thursday, Comcast announced that it would buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion (33 billion euros) in stock, or $158.82 per share, in a deal combining the top two US cable firms.
The offer trumped a proposal by Charter Communications, which had wanted to acquire Time Warner Cable for $38 billion in cash and stock.
With 22 million pay TV subscribers of its own and Time Warner Cable's 11.2 million, the combined entity will end up at a level generally beneath the threshold at which antitrust authorities get involved.
Regulatory approval a formality?
According to Comcast, the two firms do not serve overlapping markets, meaning their merger wouldn't reduce competition for consumers.
Though Comcast operates mainly in the Northeast, Time Warner Cable has strongholds around its headquarters in New York as well as in Los Angeles, Dallas and Milwaukee.
In many of those areas, the combined entity will face competition from rivals such as AT&T and Verizon, which provide both pay TV services and Internet hookups.
hg/mkg (AP, dpa)