Comcast said it now expects its planned $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable to be completed early next year.
The expected timing is due to Comcast's current expectations about regulatory approvals, the Philadelphia-based company said in a filing dated yesterday. Comcast previously said that the transaction may be completed by the end of 2014.
The deal would bring Comcast an additional 7 million residential video customers, for a total of 29 million residential video subscribers, and a presence in the top two U.S. media markets, New York and Los Angeles.
Comcast has been asked by the Federal Communications Commission to provide information on a range of its business practices, from programming agreements with sports leagues to internet traffic management and data caps imposed on customers.
The FCC's demand for data, common as part of any agency review of an acquisition, posed many questions to Comcast that get to the heart of objections raised by consumer groups, competitors and some customers. The queries included whether Comcast slows or hinders programming by rivals, has studies about how consumers view the company's services and how the merger would effect its carriage of local sports broadcasts.
Netflix in February agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to set up more dependable, direct connections between its servers and Comcast's network, then argued for stronger "net neutrality" government regulation to prevent the need for such payments. Opponents of Comcast's deal to buy Time Warner Cable argue that giving Comcast more internet subscribers increases its clout too much.
~ Bloomberg News ~