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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