More than 99% of shareholder votes cast gave a thumbs up to the union of the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 cable operators. TW Cable held a special shareholders meeting Thursday at the Paley Center for Media in New York City to facilitate the vote. Comcast shareholders formally approved the deal on Wednesday by a similar margin.
“Today’s Time Warner Cable stockholder approval comes on the heels of Comcast shareholder approval yesterday and is an important milestone as we work towards completing our merger,” said TW Cable CEO Rob Marcus.
Although shareholders are gung-ho for the deal, the merger has predictably become a political football in Washington as the Justice Department and FCC review the competitive implications of Comcast expanding its cable and broadband footprint. The companies have projected that the deal reached Feb. 12 would close by the first quarter of 2015.
But last week, the FCC paused its 180-day “shot clock” timetable for completing its review and extended the period for reply comments to a lengthy response that Comcast filed on Sept. 23 to the initial round of comments opposing the merger. Replies to Comcast’s filing had initial been due by Oct. 8, but because Comcast’s reply came in at nearly 850 pages, the FCC extended that deadline to Oct. 29.
The strenuous opposition to the merger has heightened speculation that the feds may wind up imposing significant conditions or block the deal entirely.