In case you don't know, Kabletown is the thinly-veiled corporate stand-in that buys NBC in Tina Fey's comedy "30 Rock", where the writers relentlessly ridicule the ownership. Anyway, here's to everyone who made the calls and signed the petitions: We did it!
After months of fighting the headwinds of fierce opposition, Comcast has bowed to the inevitable and withdrawn its $45.2 billion merger agreement with Time Warner Cable.
“Today, we move on,” Comcast chairman-CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement Friday. “Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn’t agree, we could walk away.
“Comcast NBCUniversal is a unique company with strong momentum. Throughout this entire process, our employees have kept their eye on the ball and we have had fantastic operating results. I want to thank them and the employees of Time Warner Cable for their tireless efforts. I couldn’t be more proud of this company and I am truly excited for what’s next.”
Comcast’s decision came after meetings with officials from the FCC and Justice Department. It was clear that the transaction would not have received federal approval without fundamental changes. Those changes are said to have included a proposal from the feds that it spin off NBCUniversal into a separate company — an option that was a non-starter for Comcast execs, sources said.
“Comcast and Time Warner Cable’s decision to end Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable is in the best interests of consumers. The proposed transaction would have created a company with the most broadband and the video subscribers in the nation alongside the ownership of significant programming interests,” FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement. “Today, an online video market is emerging that offers new business models and greater consumer choice. The proposed merger would have posed an unacceptable risk to competition and innovation, including to the ability of online video providers to reach and serve consumers.”