Comcast calls off Time Warner merger that would have affected 2.5M in Midwest


It's official: Comcast has called off its proposed $45.2 billion merger with Time Warner.

Amid concerns from, among others, the Justice Department and prominent politicians including Sen. Al Franken, Comcast announced Friday it was ending the deal, CBS News reports.

Franken was one of the leading voices against the merger, which he said would result in the creation of an industry "behemoth."

"This is a merger which would create a behemoth that would be anti-competitive and [it 's] not in the public interest," Franken told CBS. "What this would mean to consumers is higher prices, less choice, and — if it's even possible — worse service."

The end of the merger also brings an end to plans that would have seen cable and broadband services change in Minnesota.

Under the terms of the merger, Comcast would not have been allowed to own more than 30 percent of the United States' pay-TV market, and had been negotiating deals with cities across Minnesota to shift customers over to a new provider called GreatLand.

Comcast and Time Warner would have owned 67 percent GreatLand, with the rest owned by Missouri rival Charter Communications, and it would have resulted in 2.5 million customers across the Midwest shifting provider.

Ultimately though, the merger of America's two biggest U.S. cable companies proved too much for some in Washington, with NPR News reporting earlier this week that Justice Department staff members had opposed the merger on antitrust grounds.

The Washington Post reports the proposed merger had set off "a firestorm" among consumer advocates and lawmakers who argued it would give the company too much leverage over online streaming companies and websites, with Telecomlead saying Amazon and Netflix will be among the companies to benefit from the merger's cancellation.

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