The FCC last week approved the $29.2 billion merger of Comcast and AT&T Broadband, giving the final green light to the creation of the nation's largest cable television enterprise. The new entity will be called AT&T Comcast and serve approximately 22.3 million subscribers.
Under the deal, Comcast, currently the nation's third-largest cable operator with about 8.5 million subscribers, acquires AT&T Broadband, the largest cable operator. The new company will have nearly twice as many customers as AOL Time Warner, the second largest cable company.
Critics of the merger, including major consumer groups, argued to the FCC that creation of such a large cable company would reduce competition, resulting in higher rates, less diverse programming and fewer choices of high-speed Internet service providers available via cable.
First proposed last December, the deal has now received its final government approval. The companies previously announced that 1,700 jobs would be cut at AT&T Broadband's headquarters in Englewood, Colo.
Currently, AT&T Broadband has about 40,000 employees and Comcast's cable division has about 20,000.