Any effort by Comcast to acquire Time Warner Cable would face significant hurdles in Washington, according to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) official.
Comcast, the No. 1 US cable provider by subscriber numbers, has been considering a bid for the No. 2 player, Time Warner Cable, which is already being pursued by Charter Communications. Ajit Pai, a Republican commissioner at the FCC, said in an interview that the Obama administration would be unlikely to approve a combination of Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
“The Administration has applied greater scrutiny to proposed mergers and acquisitions,” he said, citing examples including AT&T’s attempted takeover of T-Mobile US.
Pai is one of the two Republicans on the five-member FCC.
Time Warner Cable approached Comcast about a combination in recent months, hoping to head off Charter’s advances. Cox Communications is also weighing a bid and Liberty could back one of the contenders.