Time Warner Cable shareholder sue over Comcast deal

A Time Warner Cable shareholder is suing to block Comcast Communications’ US$45.2 billion cable TV takeover deal.

Breffni Barrett alleged the deal would face regulatory hurdles and was the result of unfair dealings, according to a complaint filed to the New York State Supreme Court on behalf of other TWC shareholders.

Last week, Comcast announced it had secured a multi-billion dollar takeover of rival US cableco TWC but this was immediately met with concern a combined company would have a monopoly in the market.

Comcast said it would shed three million subscribers to reduce its market share to beneath the level at which US regulator the FCC is duty-bound to investigate and that this would increase market plurality.

However, the National Cable Television Association says the merged company would control almost three-quarters of the lucrative US cable market.

Meanwhile, a New York Times report over the weekend claimed a Comcast-Time Warner merger could trigger a new wave of consolidation as content providers look to “fight scale with scale”.

Citing an unnamed source close to Discovery Communications, the Times reported Discovery had decided against an attempted takeover of Scripps Networks Interactive because it felt it was large enough to negotiate effectively with major cable companies.

If a deal were to go ahead “a once-in-a-generation frenzy of deal-making” could be triggered.

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