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FCC commissioner doubts Comcast-TWC merger would be approved

  • The Obama administration probably wouldn't authorize any attempt by Comcast (CMCSA) to acquire Time Warner Cable (TWC), FCC Republican commissioner Ajit Pai has told the WSJ.
  • Precedents such as the government's blocking of AT&T's purchase of T-Mobile US suggest a Comcast-TWC deal "could face a number of hurdles in the Obama administration," Pai said. "A Republican administration likely would be more inclined to approve a deal."
  • TWC has already turned down two bids from Charter Communications (CHTR), the WSJ reports, adding that Comcast and Charter are unlikely to make a joint offer.
  • While the interest in TWC has sent the telecom carrier's shares soaring, it has also hurt its bonds, due to fears about a debt overhang that a deal could bring. The price of TWC's 30-year bond that matures in 2042 has tumbled 17% since the merger chatter began.
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