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Comcast and Time Warner call off merger

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It’s official: Comcast has called off its $45 billion plan to buy Time Warner Cable. Regulators were already raising objections to the deal, which — had it gone through — would have created a company with unprecedented control over the nation’s broadband and television markets.

“This is a victory not only for the Department of Justice,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “But also for providers of content and streaming services who work to bring innovative products to consumers across America and around the world.”

Holder is not the only official celebrating the collapse of the deal. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says that Comcast’s decision “is in the best interests of consumers,” adding that the merger would have “posed an unacceptable risk to competition and innovation, including to the ability of online video providers to reach and serve consumers.”

Comcast put $237 million toward the proposed deal in 2014. It remains to be seen whether the fallout will affect Comcast’s dealings with companies that opposed the merger, including Netflix, Discovery, and Dish Network. 

“Today, we move on,” said Brian L. Roberts, Comcast’s chief executive, in a statement. “Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn’t agree, we could walk away.”

Somewhere, John Oliver is dancing.