Comcast has dropped its controversial bid to acquire Time Warner Cable, which would have formed the largest telecom business in the United States, according to Bloomberg Business.
"Comcast has made the decision at this point to pull the plug on this deal. The decision has already been made," Alex Sherman, Bloomberg's media and telecom mergers and acquisitions reporter said on the air. "If our reporting is accurate, Comcast has made the decision to pull the plug on this deal... apparently they're having a board meeting later today."
An official announcement should come tomorrow, he said.
The proposed deal has been controversial from the start. Though not directly linked to the recent net neutrality battle, both Comcast and Time Warner have been looked at as internet and cable monopolies in the cities the do business in.
The companies don't directly compete with each other because they have staked out different cities in which to offer their services—New York, for instance, is a Time Warner Cable city, whereas Washington, DC is a Comcast city. The merger would have created a company that dominated the industry nationwide, a prospect that many feared.
Earlier this week, there was talk that the Department of Justice was considering suing to prevent the deal from going through, and yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission called for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge, a move that industry experts considered the "kiss of death."
According to Sherman, after the Justice Department news broke, "things have fallen off a cliff in a hurry."
A spokesperson for Comcast told me the company would have more to say later but did not deny that Comcast is dropping its bid. We'll continue to follow this as it develops.