U.S. Antitrust Lawyers Seen Opposing Comcast-TWC Deal

Protesters Gather Against Proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger
Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesOpponents of Comcast's planned merger with Time Warner Cable show their opposition to the deal at a Public Utilities Commission hearing Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Staff attorneys at the Justice Department's antitrust division are nearing a recommendation to block the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Justice Department attorneys investigating the deal are citing concerns for consumers as they lean against it. A review could come as soon as next week, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

%VIRTUAL-pullquote-We have been working productively with both DOJ and FCC and believe that there is no basis for DoJ to block the deal.%Time Warner Cable (TWC) shares were trading down 5.1 percent at $150.08 on the New York Stock Exchange while Comcast (CMCSK) shares were down 2 percent at $58.46 on Nasdaq.

"We've had no indication from the DOJ that this is true," a spokesman for Time Warner Cable said. "We have been working productively with both DOJ and FCC and believe that there is no basis for DoJ to block the deal."

Comcast had reassessed the timing of the regulatory review of its proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable and expected the conclusion in the middle of this year, a company executive said in a previous blog post.

The Federal Communications Commission, which as well as the Justice Department is reviewing the deal, earlier this month paused the informal countdown toward its decision as it awaited a court ruling related to how it should handle disclosures of some documents.

"There is no basis for a lawsuit to block the transaction," a Comcast spokeswoman said in an emailed statement, saying that expected benefits to both consumers and businesses from the deal ... have been essentially unchallenged in the record -- and all can be achieved without any reduction of competition."
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