DOJ Halts Time Warner Comcast Merger: Meeting Scheduled For Wednesday

Comcast and Time Warner Cable representatives will sit down with government officials this week amid intense scrutiny of their proposed mega-merger and its impact on consumers.

The U.S. Justice Department is weighing whether to block the $45 billion deal, which has the potential to remake the cable industry.

Comcast is the country's No. 1 provider of cable and broadband Internet, and Time Warner Cable (TWC) is No. 2.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, a source with knowledge of the situation said. It could mark the beginning of negotiations between the two sides to address the government's concerns that the merger could lead to less competition in cable.

The upcoming meeting was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Saturday night.

It comes on the heels of a Bloomberg report on Friday that Justice Department staff attorneys are "leaning against" the Comcast bid and are about to recommend that their bosses try to block it.

The Wednesday meeting was scheduled before the Bloomberg report was published, according to the source.

Along with the Justice Department, the Federal Communications Commission is also reviewing the merger. The process has been protracted -- the companies first proposed the deal in February 2014.

Companies that are trying to merge routinely agree to concessions to win government approval. Comcast did that back in 2011 before it acquired NBCUniversal.

On Saturday, the Journal reported that "the Justice Department has been examining whether Comcast has fully complied with those earlier commitments."

Comcast (CCV) has said all along that it believes the merger is in the public interest.

The deal "will result in significant consumer benefits -- faster broadband speeds, access to a superior video experience, and more competition in business services resulting in billions of dollars of cost savings," a spokeswoman said on Friday.

Time Warner Cable was a unit of Time Warner, which is the owner of this web site, until 2009. The two companies are no longer related except by name.

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