Comcast Today: Did the Feds Just Save the Time Warner Merger?

Plus: How David L. Cohen missed out on $25,000.

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Remember how we told you the other day that Comcast’s faltering stock price might end its merger with Time Warner Cable?

Well: The federal government just saved Comcast’s stock price.

The Street reports:

Comcast rose 1.92% to $50.89 at 3:17 p.m. on Wednesday after the cable giant announced Comcast Business announced it was awarded a General Services Administration Schedule 70 contract.

The contract permits the company to sell directly to federal, state and local government customers. The Schedule 70 contract initially applies to Comcast Business Ethernet services, but Comcast plans to expand it to its complete voice product suite, Business Internet and Business TV services.

“Our work with federal, state and local government customers has shown us that bandwidth usage in government agencies is rapidly increasing as technology and constituent programs demand it,” said Comcast Business executive director of government Kevin Carney. “Now, federal government agencies can more easily turn to Comcast Business and our Ethernet services for secure, reliable, high-performance connectivity in many regions, including the Washington, D.C. area and other key federal markets.”

Of course, that doesn’t fully restore the 10-percent slide in Comcast’s stock price since the merger was announced, but it’s still worth asking: Did this timely announcement just save Comcast’s merger with Time Warner?

One other point to note: That sudden rise in stock price means Comcast Vice President David L. Cohen missed out on making an extra $25,000 this week. How? Because a day earlier, he unloaded 30,474 shares of his company stock at an average price of 50.07 a share. The 82-cent-a-share difference would’ve added $24,988.68 to his income if he’d just waited a day. If course, he did make $1.5 million from the stock sale in the first place, so he may not be crying over the relatively puny sum of lost money.

Other Comcastic headlines

Comcast Hits Back At WGA: Comcast said it plans to file its Public Interest Statement next week, which will start the formal review process for the merger once the FCC issues a public notice. The WGA’s opposition to the merger is not surprising, seeing how the union fought Comcast’s 2009 takeover of NBCUniversal and has been involved in numerous labor disputes with the Peacock’s parent company over the last several years. In an email, Fitzmaurice said that history should be telling. “The opposition so far on the deal is really mostly the same group of people that have opposed most media mergers, including the WGA,” she wrote. “They’ve opposed most recent mergers and have come out against NBCUniversal in issues unrelated to the transaction in the past.” (International Business Times)

Comcast Cruises Past Verizon In Worst Company Quarterfinal Action!: It’s been four years since Comcast last took home the Golden Poo, but like Philly’s own Rocky Balboa training out of the spotlight in snowy Krasnogourbinsk for his fight against Ivan Drago, the Kabletown Krew has only gotten leaner, stronger, and more fierce since its last win. And that hard work showed with today’s 83-17 crushing of Verizon. Comcast may want to brush up with another training montage, as it still has to go up against the victor of tomorrow’s bout between upstart rookie SeaWorld and WCIA vet Chase. (Consumerist)

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