File - The combined company will account for nearly three-quarters of the U.S. cable market.
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Comcast Corp. agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. for $45.2 billion in stock, a surprise deal that combines the two largest U.S. cable companies and creates a bulwark against competition from phone and satellite providers.Time Warner Cable investors will receive 2.875 Comcast stock for each of their shares, the companies said in a joint statement Thursday. In sealing the deal, Comcast Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts trumped a bid from Charter Communications Inc. and its billionaire backer John Malone, who had courted Time Warner Cable for months. Time Warner Cable's stock jumped 7.4 percent to $145.36 in early morning trading in New York, while Comcast fell 3 percent to $53.59 .Charter is unlikely to match Comcast's bid and is willing to study any assets Comcast would sell, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations were private. Comcast plans to divest about 3 million subscribers of the combined company to keep its market share below 30 percent. Comcast and Charter had been negotiating an asset sale after a potential Charter acquisition of Time Warner Cable, according to the people.
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