Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal faces probe from US states

Some states have joined the effort to investigate Comcast's proposed $45.2 billion buyout of Time Warner Cable.

Marguerite Reardon/CNET

Comcast will now have to deal with US states as well as the US Justice Department if it expects to win approval to buy Time Warner Cable.

Florida is part of a multistate group investigating the proposed merger to make sure if doesn't run afoul of antitrust laws, the Florida state attorney general's office told CNET on Wednesday.

"We are part of a multistate group reviewing the proposed transaction along with the U.S. DOJ Antitrust Division," the Florida state attorney general's office said to CNET in an e-mailed statement. "The matter is also being looked at by the FCC. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time."

Officials with the AG's office in Indiana told Reuters that they were investigating the deal but didn't say if they were part of the multistate group. The group reportedly is looking into the deal's possible effects on the broadband market rather than the cable industry, one source told Reuters.

As noted by the Florida state attorney general's office, Comcast's $45.2 billion bid to acquire Time Warner Cable has already aroused the attention of both the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission. Though the Justice Department typically investigates such potentially huge mergers, the FCC has a role here in making sure the public interest is protected.

Despite any concerns among federal and state regulators, Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus believes the deal will go through.

"I have every confidence that the deal will close," Marcus said at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference last week. "We wouldn't have signed the deal if we didn't think it would get done."

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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