While Philadelphia was talking about Comcast’s new plans for a giant, skyline-dominating tower on Wednesday, the company itself was apparently proceeding with plans to fill that tower with a bigger business. Reuters reports Comcast has renewed talks with Charter Communications Inc. about teaming up to buy Time Warner Cable.
Charter, the No. 4 U.S. cable provider, and Comcast, the top U.S. cable provider, are in preliminary discussions about how to structure a potential alliance, the people said. One possibility is that Charter buys all of Time Warner Cable and sells off some of its marketsand subscribers to Comcast, one of the people said.
It was not immediately clear which geographic markets are under discussion, but analysts have said that Comcast would be interested in Time Warner Cable’s largest markets such as New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.
That would give Comcast—again, on its own the biggest cable provider—a stunning level of dominance in the cable industry. On its own, Charter has only been able to must a $132-per-share offer to buy Time Warner; but that company reportedly wants $160 a share instead, with $145 to $150 as the likely end point—one Charter might achieve only with Comcast backing.