Report: Comcast to walk away from Time Warner

Comcast Corp. is planning to walk away from its proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc., Bloomberg News reported today, after regulators decided that the deal wouldn’t help consumers, making approval unlikely.

Bloomberg News cited people with knowledge of the matter in its report.

A formal announcement on the deal’s fate may come as soon as Friday, Bloomberg reported.

Comcast Corp.’s turbulent bid to acquire Time Warner Cable shifted into high gear this week, 14 months after the $45 billion deal was announced.

Company executives were expected to meet with U.S. Justice Department officials in Washington to begin in-depth discussions about whether the government’s antitrust concerns are significant enough to torpedo the merger — or if conditions could be fashioned to neutralize possible harms, according to people close to the situation spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential matters.

If a deal was approved, Comcast was expected to sell the subscribers in southwest Ohio currently owned by Time Warner to Charter Communications.

The Justice Department has spent nearly a year trying to determine whether a bulked-up Comcast would choke competition. The Federal Communications Commission separately is considering whether the acquisition would be in the public interest.

Consumer groups, rival entertainment companies and Internet streaming services have long protested the merger.

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