Comcast Spent $336M on Failed Time Warner Cable Bid

Posted by at 12:23 pm on May 6, 2015

Comcast’s failed attempt to acquire Time Warner Cable cost the cable company a considerable amount of money, according to analysis of its earnings reports. While the transaction would have cost $45.2 billion if it did indeed go through, Comcast has apparently spent at least $336 million to get the purchase moving over the last five quarters, before it ended.

The most recent filingincludes $99 million in “transaction-related costs” for the acquisition, reports Ars Technica. In the fourth quarter of 2014, it spent another $99 million, with $77 million used in the third quarter of the year, $44 million in the second, and $17 million in the first. Since the financial reports cover up until March 31 of this year, it does not take into account any extra funds spent for the current quarter up until April 24, the date it was called off.

By comparison, TWC spent more than $200 million on the venture in the last year. Both sides paid out for various restructuring costs, ranging from employee retainment to consultants in IT and banking. Last month, Politico reported that both companies spent around $32 million trying to influence regulators and members of Congress. Comcast does count the “Communications and lobbying fees” as part of its costs, though only when it is “directly and incrementally associated” with the purchase.

In the latest quarterly report, Comcast brought in revenues of $17.9 billion and an operating income of $3.9 billion, both year-on-year increments of 2.6 percent and 9 percent respectively. In the quarter, it gained 407,000 broadband subscribers, bringing the total to 22,369,000 subscribers, while TV customers dropped in the period by 8,000 to 22,375,000. The two totals as of March 31 were very close, but Comcast has revealed the broadband customer base overtook TV customers during April.

Comcast Cable president Neil Smit advised during a conference call “Broadband has in fact surpassed video in terms of the number of subs. It is a less mature market, so we think there is room for growth.”

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