Feb 28 Comcast is considering spinning
off the 3 million subscribers it has offered to divest as part
of its proposed $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable
, into a publicly traded company, according to sources
familiar with the matter.
The sources, who did not want to be named because the plans
are private, said that Comcast had not yet made a decision and
this is just one option it is considering. Comcast has said it
is willing to divest 3 million subscribers to reduce U.S.
regulators' competitive concerns.
Comcast has said it plans to submit documents on its
proposed Time Warner Cable acquisition to U.S. regulators by the
end of March, when antitrust and public interest reviews will be
The deal has drawn concern from consumer advocates and some
lawmakers who worry that the new company's size would give it
too much power to decide what Americans can watch on TV and do
Comcast may sell the cable systems - whose location has yet
to be determined - to a strategic buyer but a spinoff may be
more tax efficient to shareholders of the combined company, the
Bloomberg first reported the news of the potential spinoff
The sources told Reuters that a spinoff was only one of
several possibilities for the subscribers it needs to divest as
part of the deal, which a second source said have already
attracted interest from potential buyers.
It is not even clear whether the final number of subscribers
to be divested will be the same as the three million initially
mentioned, the second source said.
Liberty Media Chief Executive Greg Maffei said on
Friday that Charter Communications would consider
buying the subscribers Comcast is looking to divest. Liberty
Media owns 27 percent of Charter.
Representatives from Charter and Time Warner Cable declined
to comment while Comcast did not immediately respond to a
request for comment.