Comcast is preparing to merge with Time Warner Cable, a deal that would create one of the largest cable companies in the country.
The merger is one of several on the table between Time Warner and Comcast as part of a larger deal.
Comcast is in talks with Time and Time Warner to explore ways to bring together the two companies’ video services, including online video and live TV, as well as other areas of the business, sources familiar with the talks said.
Time Warner would acquire Time Warner’s digital business, including its Web properties, and the combined company would acquire DirecTV and the remaining stock in Time Warner, the sources said.
In a statement, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said the merger is a natural extension of Comcast’s strategy of creating the world’s most comprehensive, high-speed broadband network.
Comcast has been pursuing the Time Warner merger for years and the deal would add more flexibility and certainty to the company’s strategy.
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of next year.
The combined company will be valued at $67.8 billion, and Comcast expects to earn $1.4 billion in net income for the fiscal year that ended in May, Roberts said in the statement.
“We will continue to pursue our vision of creating a single, seamless experience across the Internet and across our businesses,” Roberts said.
Comcast and Time will invest $25 billion in the combined entity, with $15 billion coming from Comcast and $15.5 billion from Time Warner.
The combination is expected for completion in 2019.
The new companies will have similar business models, including offering broadband Internet service to their customers.
The merged companies are also expected to have a greater presence in the TV business, which is also likely to be part of the merger, the Wall Street Journal reported in July.
TimeWarner has said the deal is the most ambitious in cable history.
Comcast already owns Time Warner cable.
The cable company is under pressure to sell off TV assets in an effort to reduce the cost of its broadband business.
Comcast also is expected soon to launch its own TV service in a bid to diversify its offerings.
The TimeWarners, who have said they are focused on serving their customers, said in a statement they remain committed to working together to provide our customers with the best broadband and the best TV service.
The companies have also agreed to pay a combined $100 billion for their combined companies, which will combine to create Comcast, which would then have the rights to carry the combined companies’ TV content.
Comcast would retain the right to acquire TimeWarning assets, including Time Warner-owned Warner Brothers movies and video, according to the statement, which said the combined Comcast-TWC merger would provide the company with additional investment and innovation to serve its customers.
Comcast CEO and Chairman Brian Roberts, left, speaks to employees in front of a Comcast building on March 12, 2020 in New York City.
Comcast, Time Warner Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts and TimeWar, the parent company of Comcast and NBCUniversal, sign a deal to acquire the TimeWarmer Group. Reuters