After more than a year of struggling to merge two of the most hated companies in the nation into one streamlined monolith, capable of insulting you at previously undreamt-of speeds, Time-Warner and Comcast are likely to remain separate yet equally terrible companies. Bloomberg reports that Comcast is now likely to walk away from the $45 billion takeover of Time-Warner it has spent so long trying to get up and running, presumably finally getting fed up with being on hold.
There’s also the matter of what the New York Times calls the “death knell” handed out by FCC officials yesterday, when they recommended in a meeting that the matter be brought to an administrative hearing, signaling that it doesn’t believe the merger would be in consumers’ best interest. Any hearing would be a months-long, if not years-long process that wouldn’t fit within Comcast’s window for closing the deal, previously given as “sometime between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.”
Still, that suggestion of a hearing was just an informal one, and there’s been no official statement made yet either way from any of the involved parties. But most analysts and sources close to the talks say that the mere threat of having to consider the ramifications of the deal in public should be enough deterrence for Comcast to simply walk away, without wasting any more time or money on the fight to be a shitty company with no real incentive to improve—only much, much bigger.
Walking away from the merger is set to become the first time in history that something Comcast-related was easy to cancel.