Comcast has dropped its $45 billion bid to acquire Time-Warner Cable.
The deal would have more than doubled Comcast’s market share in California and created a Comcast-Cox duopoloy among tri-county cable providers. However, in a statement released today, Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said the deal was structured so that both companies could walk away if the U.S. government didn’t agree with the merger.
Fearing it would create an undisputed juggernaut controlling too large a share of American’s access to internet and television, politicians, media executives and industry groups were outspoken in their criticism of the deal.
Christopher McDonald, vice president of government affairs for Comcast’s western operations, previously told the Businesses Times had the deal gone through, Comcast and Charter Communications would engage in a series of swaps that would give Comcast more systems on the West Coast and Charter a number of systems in Midwestern states.
Those swaps would have put San Luis Obispo County’s cable systems, currently under the Charter banner, into the hands of Comcast.
For now Comcast will remain one of the smallest cable players in the region. Its territories include the Santa Maria Valley and the Santa Ynez Valley, though there is speculation the company is hunting for smaller deals and that Time Warner could end up merging with Charter.