POLITICO article POLITICO – Charter Communications Inc., Turner Broadcasting Inc., Comcast Corp. and Viacom Inc. have entered into a merger agreement, giving each company a market share of 35.5% in the $2.5 trillion digital TV market, according to an agreement announced Monday by the companies.
Charter and Turner each have market share shares of more than 30%.
The deal was announced on the same day that cable giant Comcast Corp., a media company owned by AT&T Inc., signed a $45 billion deal to acquire DirecTV.
The deal was made public on Monday.
Under the deal, Charter will get a 33.5 percent share of Directv, up from 32.5%.
It also will get 25.5%, down from 29.5.
The remaining 10.5 will be divided among Charter and Time Warner Cable.
Comcast will get 21.5%; Time Warner will get 9.5; and Charter will be paid $3.2 billion for the combined company, which will be called Comcast Entertainment Group.
The deal also gives Charter a 29.9% share of ESPN and 20.7% of Turner, according the agreement, which also gives each company an ownership stake in the other.
It also gives Comcast a 10.7%, down nearly $6 billion from its previous deal with Time Warner.
Comcast owns about half of cable and satellite TV.
The deals, which were approved by regulators on Monday, come as the two companies are battling each other for dominance of the $8.5 billion market for cable TV service, which includes both satellite and cable TV.
In a joint statement, Charter and Comcast said they would “expedite the development of their respective businesses” and “exercise the necessary controls to maximize their respective value and potential” while the companies seek to “improve their competitive position in the cable TV marketplace.”
The merger will allow each company to “continue to expand their business in this growing and complex market, with an objective to further develop the value of their businesses and strengthen their relationships with consumers and their communities,” Charter said in the statement.
The companies will continue to be independent in their operations and focus on the future of the company.
“As we look to the future, we are focused on making a long-term investment in our core business, and on our customers and partners,” Turner said in a statement.
“This transaction will enable us to continue to deliver great value to our customers, our partners and the world.”
Comcast said it will work with Charter to “create and expand a strong media network” and to “make the best network possible for the Comcast community.”
“We look forward to working with Charter and the new Charter Communications as we explore the future and continue to grow the Comcast network, Comcast’s cable television network and its network of businesses in the digital media space,” Comcast said in its statement.