When Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA ) announced its blockbuster buyout of chief rival Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC ) , even the most ardent anti-monopoly observers threw their hands up in defeat. Nobody lobbies harder than the cable industry and Comcast in particular. All the complaints in the world seemed unable to topple the deal. The rubber-stamp seal of regulatory approval hovered just around the corner.
But then the tenor around the Time Warner buyout started to change. First, analysts wondered if the buyout wasn’t facing more resistance from the FCC and the Department of Justice than initially thought. In October, Craig Moffett from analyst firm MoffettNathanson gave the buyout only a 75% chance of regulatory approval based on headwinds in Washington and negative investor reactions.
Now, the tech experts at GigaOm say that “all bets are off.” The deal is skating into final approvals on “thin ice.” Investors seem skeptical, consumers have voiced strong opposition to the buyout, and rivals in the media industry have teamed up to fund anti-merger projects like the strikingly named “Stop Mega Comcast” web site.
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