Comcast: Are Vultures Circling the Merger?

Charter's John Malone would love another shot at Time Warner Cable.

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

OK, so it’s probably a bit much to say the vultures are circling over the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. After all, the “vulture” in question is John Malone of Charter — the guy who originally was trying to buy Time Warner before Comcast swooped in — and he still gives Comcast’s efforts an 80 percent chance of succeeding.

Only thing: Those odds are less impressive than they used to be.

Deadline Hollywood reports:

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone hasn’t lost his lust for Time Warner Cable. That’s the unmistakable message he delivered today at Liberty’s Investor Day gathering when he was asked whether Charter — where he’s the top shareholder — would take another run at TWC if its current $45 billion deal with Comcast falters. “Hell yes,” Malone said, reaffirming his reputation as one of media’s most reliable straight shooters. The answer could be important: A small, but growing, group of investors question whether the Comcast-TWC deal will survive FCC and Justice Department scrutiny.

Multichannel News adds:

Liberty Media chairman John Malone said he would pursue Time Warner Cable again if Its current deal with Comcast is rejected by regulators.  However, he noted that his current arrangement with both companies is probably the best outcome.   “Oh yes,” Malone said in an immediate response to a question in whether he would want Charter Communications to restart its pursuit of Time Warner Cable in the absence of a Comcast deal. “That said, we’re happy with the deal that was negotiated. In many ways it’s a better deal than going after 100% of Time Warner Cable.”

In other news:

Oops, they did it again: Two weeks after it delivered a mea culpa amid national service outages for its X1 pay-TV platform, the nation’s No. 1 cable company has admitted to fielding complaints about billing errors in select regions in which it is transitioning its billing systems. “We know it may not have been seamless for some customers recently, and want them to know the majority of the work is behind us, and we truly appreciate their patience,” a Comcast spokesperson told the Philadelphia Inquirer. (Fierce Cable)

Comcast reaches out to businesses whose workers work from home: The largest cable company in the US is readying a new Ethernet @Home service that will extend Ethernet connectivity from office locations to teleworkers at home. The service isn’t set to launch until next month, but Comcast Corp. let the cat out of the bag. … Ethernet @Home extends secure network connectivity to employees working from home. It’s not a residential offering, but it does make use of the residential connections that Comcast has in place all around the country thanks to its substantial hybrid fiber/coax network. In a healthcare environment, this would allow a hospital to expand beyond multi-point Ethernet connectivity on a campus to deliver secure Ethernet connections that reach all the way to a physician’s home. Cassell described the effort as “taking Ethernet services where they’ve never been before.”t of the bag early when it submitted an application for an award with the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF). (

New face in the cafeteria: Comcast Corporation announced today that Devesh Raj has joined the company as Senior Vice President of Strategic and Financial Planning. In this role, Raj will help drive the overall growth strategy at Comcast and NBCUniversal, including leading the identification and pursuit of strategic business opportunities, partnerships, alliances, and licensing agreements. He reports to Alexander Evans, Executive Vice President of Global Corporate Development and Strategy for Comcast Corporation, and will be based at Comcast’s headquarters in Philadelphia. (

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