Comcast to drop $45 billion Time Warner Cable bid

Brian Roberts Sun Valley Getty / Scott OlsonComcast CEO Brian Roberts

Comcast is going to drop its $US45.2 billion bid to buy Time Warner Cable, Bloomberg’s Alex Sherman reports.

Comcast is bowing out of bidding amid expectations that regulators were going to kill the deal anyway.

Bloomberg says Comcast’s announcement will come as soon as Friday.

The transaction was first announced in February of 2014.

Opposition to this deal has always been based on the idea that Comcast and Time Warner Cable already provide customers poor service and that they would have less incentive to improve that service after they combined. There would be one less competitor in the market.

Here’s a list of the banks and law firms that were unable to see this deal to its conclusion:

  • J.P. Morgan, Paul J. Taubman, and Barclays acted as financial advisors to Comcast
  • Davis Polk & Wardwell and Willkie Farr & Gallagher were Comcast’s legal advisors.
  • Morgan Stanley, Allen & Company, Citigroup and Centerview Partners were financial advisors to Time Warner Cable and its Board of Directors.
  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom were Time Warner’s legal advisors.

The death of this deal is bad for a lot of people on Wall Street. Fox Business’s Wall Street reporter Charlie Gasparino says that “many many deals” and tens of millions of dollars in deal fees were contingent on the Time Warner Cable deal going through. The first deal under threat will be AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV.

Time Warner Cable stock is flat on the news — probably because it’s been expected for days now. Comcast is up 2%.

The death of the deal is particularly disastrous for a pair of Time Warner Cable executives. CEO Rob Marcus was about to get a $US80 million golden parachute after the deal closed. CFO Artie Minson was set to make $US27 million.

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