Dec. 17 - Comcast is considering a takeover bid for Time Warner Cable, among other options, say sources, which could spark a three-way horse race involving Charter and Cox. Fred Katayama reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**MUST COURTESY COMCAST, TIME WARNER CABLE, YOUTUBE/COMCAST, YOUTUBE/CHARTER~** Get set for a possible clash of the cable titans. Comcast, the biggest cable operator, is studying several options for a potential deal with Time Warner Cable. Sources tell Reuters it's considering whether to a) launch a takeover bid for the second largest cable operator by itself or b) do so with another partner or c) buy certain Time Warner markets. But analysts say Comcast could face tough regulatory scrutiny if it were to attempt a full takeover. Comcast could butt heads with Cox Communications and Charter Communications, which is preparing to make an offer for Time Warner Cable. Time Warner Cable rose slightly at the open. BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield upped his price target, saying takeover speculation could push up the stock price. Any deal could set off a new wave of consolidation. That's something Charter's backer, John Malone of Liberty, has been calling for in a bid to stem escalating programming costs. And the same goes for cable programmers if Discovery Communications makes a rumored go for Food Networks' majority owner, Scripps Networks.