AT&T Boss: Comcast-TWC Merger Will Get Green Light

As federal regulators debate the merits of a potential merger between cable giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the boss at one communications giant says he’s sure it’ll be approved.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said at an investor conference on Thursday that he’s paying close attention to Comcast’s proposed “industry-redefining” acquisition of TWC, one he believes will get the green light later this year, but likely with “some hair on the transaction in terms of conditions, the National Journal reported.

More than two years ago, AT&T, America’s second-largest wireless operator, came up short in its attempt to buy T-Mobile USA, the fourth-largest. While federal roadblocks proved difficult to get around in that case, some analysts believe a merger between the top two cable providers is more likely to be approved because they don’t compete against one another directly for residential customers in major U.S. markets.

Comcast is trying to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion. If approved, the combined company would reach four out of every five American households and could have a significant impact on business contracts.

Channel partners we talked to when the news broke last month had mixed reactions to the possibility of a Comcast-Time Warner tie-up, with some saying integration would be “messy,” and others expecting a “smooth transition.”

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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