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Comcast and Charter reportedly considering joint purchase of Time Warner Cable

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Comcast may be interested in merging with Time Warner Cable. The two sides aren't in active discussions, according to CNBC, but Comcast is reportedly seeking advice on potential antitrust concerns and other regulatory obstacles that could pop up if the company decides to pursue a fellow cable provider. CNBC also says that if Time Warner Cable moves forward with a sale, Comcast would be its preferred buyer. According to "people familiar with the matter," Comcast has been considering merging with TWC for quite some time, but only now is looking for guidance on what hurdles the companies could face if a deal is reached.

But Comcast may have some competition: The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Charter Communications is also preparing to make an offer to buy the company. Regardless of who decides to make a grab for Time Warner Cable, any deal is likely to be met with stiff scrutiny from federal regulators. Comcast is familiar with how that can go, as the company was forced to make concessions to successfully complete its buyout of NBCUniversal.

Update: Bloomberg News reports that Comcast and Charter are in fact discussing a joint bid for Time Warner Cable. If successful, the companies would break up TWC's assets between them, which could spell an end for the Time Warner Cable brand.