The demise of the Comcast Corp.-Time Warner Cable Inc. merger doesn’t mark an end to the consolidation of the cable and Internet-provider market — analysts are saying it’s likely the beginning of what will be a new rush of mergers that will make an already consolidated market more so and likely cause prices to rise.
Comcast, the largest cable and Internet provider in the United States, announced today that it was dropping its $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable and Internet provider. The Justice Department, which was analyzing the deal’s effect on competition, had raised concerns about the combined company controlling 57 percent of household Internet connections nationwide, making it “an unavoidable gatekeeper for Internet-based services.”
The decision followed a move by the Federal Communications Commission to turn the matter over to an administrative law judge to rule on the merger, which effectively would have killed the deal. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said Comcast’s decision was “in the best interests of consumers.”