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Comcast plans to drop Time Warner Cable merger

Staff writer |
Comcast Corp's board had a meeting late on Thursday to finalize plans to abandon its proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable Inc, according to a person directly familiar with the matter.

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A formal announcement is expected as early as Friday, the person added, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Comcast and Time Warner Cable declined to comment, Reuters reports.

The news came a day after officials of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the two largest U.S. cable companies, met with reviewers at the Justice Department, which is considering whether the deal would harm competition, and the Federal Communications Commission, which is considering whether the deal was in public interest.

Both agencies signaled reservations, though sources told Reuters it was the FCC's strong stance that particularly tipped the scales to drop the deal, which carries no break-up fee, Reuters reports.

FCC reviewers told the agency staff at a Wednesday briefing that they planned to recommend taking the merger issue to an administrative law judge for a hearing, which would amount to the FCC blocking the deal.

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