A Bloomberg report on Friday cast new doubts on Comcast’s long-gestating bid to buy Time Warner Cable.
The news wire, citing anonymous sources, reported that “staff attorneys at the Justice Department’s antitrust division are nearing a recommendation to block” the bid.
The attorneys “could submit their review as soon as next week,” Bloomberg said. Then the department’s leadership will decide whether to act on the recommendation.
The Justice Department declined to comment, and so did the other government agency that is reviewing the proposed merger, the Federal Communications Commission.
Time Warner Cable stock, already down amid a wider market selloff on Friday, fell further when the report came out. It closed at the end of trading Friday down about 5.4%. Comcast stock was down about 2.9%.
The merger of the two cable and broadband giants has promised to reshape the American media marketplace. But it has been pending for the past 15 months while regulators review the deal.
In the past few months there have been growing fears, hopes and outright guesses (depending on what side you’re on) that it will be blocked.