Time Warner Cable Says It’s Not Seeking Rebound Romance With Cox

It’s only been a few days since Comcast and Time Warner Cable got tired of waiting for the inevitable regulatory objections to their wedding and called off the whole $45 billion marriage. While Comcast can enjoy the single life for a bit before deciding what to do next, TWC is already being linked to multiple suitors. First there was news that Charter, who was originally rejected in favor of Comcast’s bigger, sexier proposal, was once again standing outside TWC’s window with a boombox over its head. Now come rumors that TWC may be trying to make some merger magic happen with Cox.

The potential union of Cox and TWC comes from the Wall Street Journal, which reports that it was TWC that called the privately held Georgia-based Cox.

Cox is the third-largest cable provider in the U.S., following Comcast and TWC. A merger of the two would have put TWC closer to Comcast’s size in terms of customer base.

Alas, both companies deny that there is any wedded bliss in their future.

A Cox rep told the Journal that “we’ve been clear we’re not for sale.”

Meanwhile, a rep for TWC tells Reuters that no such call to Cox ever occurred.

“It’s simply not true,” said the spokesperson. “We have not engaged in any discussions with Cox.”

Considering that both the FCC and the Justice Department were poised to put up roadblocks to the Comcast/TWC deal, any merger of two top-tier cable/broadband providers is likely to be an uphill battle.

Success is more likely for two companies with complementary products to merge. AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV has drawn significantly less criticism and appears to be headed toward approval by regulators because AT&T doesn’t offer satellite TV and DirecTV doesn’t sell wireless phone service or broadband. The only overlap is the pay-TV market, though AT&T’s U-Verse customer base is only about one-fourth the size of DirecTV’s, and only a small fraction of AT&T’s overall business.

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