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Report: Charter Considering a Bid for Time Warner Cable Before Year-End Reuters

Charter Communications is considering a bid for Time Warner Cable and may make an offer before year-end that would appeal to the shareholders of the second-biggest U.S. cable operator, reports Reuters.

Liberty Media, which owns one-quarter of Charter, talked with Time Warner Cable earlier in the year, and talks have restarted, the story says. Time Warner Cable, however, "remains cool" to the idea, the piece notes.

Time Warner Cable declined to comment, as did Charter. Liberty Media didn't immediately return requests for comment, the report adds.

The story notes: "Cable billionaire [John] Malone, who controls Liberty Media, has been talking up the need for consolidation in the cable industry since he jumped backed into the U.S. cable market last spring. The U.S. cable TV market is mature and faces rising programming costs and the continued loss of video subscribers."

Charter is hoping that a decline in Time Warner Cable's TV and Internet customers, which led to a weak third-quarter report, may make the company more open to an offer, Reuters notes.