Comcast and Charter agree $20-billion subscriber deal

US cable providers Comcast and Charter Communications have agreed a deal worth approximately $20 billion, intended to reshape the entire US cable market.

The three-part network deal, which is contingent on Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC) being approved by regulators, will see the combined company – set to be the market’s largest cable provider – divesting 3.9 million subscribers.

Comcast will sell approximately 1.4 million subscribers from TWC’s network to Charter, before forming a new company and placing 2.5 million subscribers into the entity, which will be 35%-owned by Charter.

The final provision will see Charter and Comcast swap 1.65 million subscribers, with details on how that will happen still undecided.

John Malone, who owns Charter, tried to acquire TWC in February, but failed to secure the deal following Comcast’s offer. There are rumours that Comcast’s offer for TWC soured its relationship with Charter.

After agreeing a deal with TWC, Comcast said it will shed up to 3 million subscribers to gain approval.

Comcast and TWC could supply 40% of US households with internet services if combined.

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