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Comcast-Time Warner deal moves closer

The proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable buy Comcast has received a preliminary endorsement with a US court backing the deal, but attaching a numerous conditions.

An San Francisco-based administrative judge ruled late last week that the California Public Utilities Commission should approve the deal to unite the cable giants. However, several conditions were attached including the provision of low-cost internet services to low-income families.

Comcast said it is reviewing the 88-page court document. In a blog post, David L. Cohen, executive VP and chief diversity officer said the court decision was an “important step”.

Singling out the stipulated broadband penetration levels required by the court condition and the timeframes given to implement these, he added: “It appears that a number of the conditions are ones that will benefit consumers and the company can work with.  Some of the suggested conditions, however, could potentially prevent the full benefits of this transaction being realised.”

The proposed US$45 billion Comcast-Time Warner deal was announced a year ago and some analysts have questioned whether it will ultimately happen given the slow pace of getting the necessary approvals.

Cohen also pointed to Comcast’s record of job creation in the wake of its multi-billion takeover of NBCUniversal.

“Since the close of the NBCUniversal transaction in January 2011, we’ve created several thousand jobs directly in the creative and construction fields – and more through the thousands of production jobs associated with our television and film production in California.”