Report: Justice Dept. May Recommend Blocking Comcast, Time Warner Cable Merger

It’s been well over a year since Comcast announced its $45.2 billion plan to buy Time Warner Cable and regulators at the FCC and Justice Dept. have yet to indicate publicly whether they plan to approve the deal or sue to block it. However, a new report claims that antitrust lawyers at the DOJ are leaning toward putting the kibosh on this marriage of the nation’s two largest cable operators.

According to Bloomberg, the DOJ’s antitrust division may recommend within the coming weeks that the agency sue to block the merger.

It will be up to Renata Hesse, a deputy assistant attorney general for antitrust, and other members of the DOJ leadership to decide whether to follow that recommendation.

Bloomberg reports that the antitrust team has recently been contacting third parties with interests in the deal to gather the evidence the DOJ would need if it decided to sue to prevent the merger.

The FCC also has a say in the fate of this merger, but Bloomberg claims that the Commission has not been negotiating with Comcast about any conditions the government might put on the deal if it were approved.

Comcast maintains that “There is no basis for a lawsuit to block the transaction,” and still contends that the combining of the two companies “will result in significant consumer benefits — faster broadband speeds, access to a superior video experience, and more competition in business services resulting in billions of dollars of cost savings.”

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