In a surprise move that was tweeted out by CNBC reporter David Faber late last night, Comcast announced it is purchasing Time Warner Cable for an all stock deal for $45 billion.
The huge deal mashes together the top two cable television companies in the country. Another company, Charter Communications, had also tried to buy Time Warner Cable for months, but this ends their pursuit—and creates an even bigger cable rival than they ever could have dreamed. Comcast's purchase likely could have been motivated to prevent Charter or any other suitors from picking up the company.
What does this mean for customers?
“Comcast will have unprecedented market power over consumers and an unprecedented ability to exert its influence over any channels or businesses that want to reach Comcast customers,”said Craig Aaron, president of Free Press.
It was only four years ago that Comcast bought NBCUniversal for roughly $17 billion from General Electric. Today, the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable will combine their customers for a total of about 30 million subscribers, making them the largest media company. Their next biggest rival, DirecTV, has about 20 million subscribers.
Shareholders who own stock in Time Warner Cable will get about 2.8 new shares of Comcast stock for each stock they own in the company.
Here's what the cable landscape will look like with the deal in place:
In other words: #DOMINANCE