Charter Communications isn’t ready to give up on its attempt to buy larger rival Time Warner Cable. Reuters reports that Charter has reached out to Comcast Corp. about joining forces to take over TWC.
Citing sources familiar with the situation, Reuters reports: "Charter approached Comcast on Wednesday to discuss carving up the second-largest U.S. cable company’s systems and subscribers, the people said, asking not to be named because they were not authorized to speak with the media.
"Charter, the No. 4 U.S. cable provider, and Comcast, the top U.S. cable provider, are in preliminary discussions about how to structure a potential alliance, the people said. One possibility is that Charter buys all of Time Warner Cable and sells off some of its markets and subscribers to Comcast, one of the people said."
Time Warner rejected a bid from Charter this week, as we reported previously. The value of the bid has been reported at more than $61 billion, although the Reuters story reports it as $37.3 billion.
Meanwhile, Charter has done some trash talking about Time Warner, as we reported yesterday.
"It was not immediately clear which geographic markets are under discussion, but analysts have said that Comcast would be interested in Time Warner Cable’s largest markets such as New York, Los Angeles and Dallas," Reuters reports. "The two companies held similar discussions late last year but those talks did not progress at that time."
The three companies all declined to comment for the Reuters story.
"A successful tie-up would take out Comcast from the bidding for Time Warner Cable. Comcast, which has also evaluated a takeover bid for all of Time Warner Cable, was seen as the only likely suitor besides Charter," Reuters notes. "Analysts have said any attempt to merge the two largest cable operators, however, would face tough scrutiny from U.S. regulators."