Sources close to Comcast say the cable company, the largest cable operator in the U.S., is planning a bid for Time Warner Cable. Charter is also in the running for a takeover of Time Warner Cable—there are even murmurs that Comcast and Charter might be working together for a possible joint bid of some form. If so, the two providers would simply divide up Time Warner’s assets between each other.
The sources cautioned that Comcast is apprehensive about making a deal, and could even back out altogether. According to reports, the obstacles of making a bid are enormous, though the rewards could be even greater. Comcast already serves 22 million subscribers across the nation, and that figure could balloon with more assets under it belt. In addition to providing cable, the company also own a major film studio under its NBCUniversal entertainment unit, in addition to other popular networks.
One of the biggest obstacles facing a possible deal is enduring an antitrust review, which The Wall Street Journal says can end in more restriction on the company. Comcast went through a yearlong review of its NBCUniversal purchase a few years back, and a similar situation could arise of a bid is made and subsequently accepted. Another possible obstacle would be regulators possible considering a Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger being too powerful and have too much leverage over content providers.
The biggest question is how serious Comcast actually is; and if a bid is being formulated, would regulators even approve it? Most recently, Comcast has been said to be working on a new movie store through its set-top boxes, but nothing official has been announced as of yet.