The body of the failed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger isn't even cold yet, and executives are already exploring new options. Reuters reports that Time Warner is "open" to being acquired by Charter, in a move that would create a cable giant with 15.6 million video subscribers and 16.4 million broadband customers. That's smaller than the giant that would have been created by a combination of Comcast and Time Warner, which would have had 21.7 million video subscribers and 20.7 million broadband customers. But given the Federal Communications Commission's close scrutiny of the earlier merger attempt, a Charter bid for Time Warner could still face rough going.
If Charter decided to pursue an acquisition, that would mark its second attempt to ingest Time Warner in as many years. Time Warner rejected an offer from Charter last year after deciding it was too low, creating an opening for Comcast to make a bid of its own. But Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter, says a Charter bid would be more attractive this time around because its stock price has risen since then. Still, Time Warner "also is open to deals with companies other than Charter," the report said. Last week Time Warner CEO Rob Marcus told employees "now is our time." Apparently he means it's time to sell to someone else.