Back in February of 2014, cable giant Comcast struck a deal to acquire cable slightly-less-giant Time Warner for somewhere in the ballpark of $45 billion in stock. The deal would have combined the No. 1 and No. 2 cable providers in the country, and all sorts of consumer advocates and net neutrality-types immediately started hopping up and down to protest it. And now, after more than a year of paperwork and lobbying and meetings between government officials and lawyers who bill more per hour than many of you make in a week, it appears the deal might be dead.
As for the official cause of death, CNN is reporting that the FCC is concerned that the deal is not in the public interest, and is recommending it go in front of an administrative judge, which would hold it up for months.
Comcast is not commenting. The company “may still have some fight left,” a person knowledgeable about the meetings said.
But the deal has no “breakup fee” — industry parlance for a financial penalty — and some Wall Street analysts now expect Comcast will walk away, abandoning 15 months of preparation while blaming the collapse of the merger on a Washington climate led by Democrats that is hostile to business.
The source suggested that Comcast is going through the five “stages of grief” after Wednesday’s meetings.
Whatever your opinion on government regulation and/or monopolies and/or the free market, I think we can all agree that anything that makes Comcast and Time Warner sad just feels like a good thing. It’s almost cathartic. SHOW ME THEIR TEARS. SERVE THEM TO ME IN A GOLDEN CHALICE.