Comcast is dropping its $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable after heavy regulatory pushback.
The combined company would have put nearly 30 percent of TV and about 55 percent of broadband subscribers under one roof, which would give the resulting behemoth unprecedented power over what Americans watch and download.
"Today, we move on," Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts said in a statement. "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."
He continued: "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."
Competitors, consumer groups, and politicians have criticized the deal, saying it would lead to higher prices and less choice.
"The record in this transaction supports only one outcome: ending the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable," a spokesman for the "Don't Comcast the Internet" campaign said in a statement when the reports of the terminated deal first surfaced Thursday afternoon. "Consumers and competition will be the big winners if this merger is indeed blocked or withdrawn."
Even with the Comcast saying Friday that the deal was off, cable companies are likely to keep combining as costs rise for the shows, sports and movies they pipe to subscribers and video customers decrease.
Many analysts expect that Charter Communications Inc., which lost out on its bid for Time Warner Cable Inc. to Comcast Corp., to resurrect its effort.