Comcast shares slipped just over 1 percent, trading at $49.68
slightly before midday.
"We are part of a multistate group reviewing the proposed
transaction along with the U.S. DOJ Antitrust Division," the Florida
attorney general's office said in an email sent late on Tuesday.
It was not known how many states had joined the task force.
Indiana officials were also looking at the deal to determine "the
potential impact in Indiana." Erin Reece, a spokeswoman for the
Indiana attorney general's office, did not say whether Indiana was
part of the multistate group.
Pennsylvania, where Comcast is headquartered, was "reviewing the
case independently," said Joe Peters, a spokesman for the s state's
attorney general's office.
The attorneys general group is focused on broadband rather than
cable in assessing the $45.2 billion deal, according to a source
familiar with the effort who was not authorized to speak on the
Comcast had no comment on the states' review of its proposed deal.
Comcast has argued the combination would not reduce competition
because the two cable providers do not compete in any markets. The
company pledged to divest 3 million subscribers, so the combined
customer base of 30 million would represent just under 30 percent of
the U.S. pay television video market.
A combined Comcast and Time Warner Cable would also have roughly
one-third share of the high-speed Internet market.
Comcast, which is the No. 1 U.S. cable provider, said on February 13
it had agreed to acquire No. 4 Time Warner Cable.
Shares of Time Warner Cable were down 0.4 percent at $135.98 near
[to top of second column]
The deal generated criticism from some lawmakers and consumer groups
concerned that there were already too few options for Americans
signing up for broadband or cable service.
Content providers, the producers of television shows and movies,
also worry that a merger of the two cable giants will mean too few
buyers for their products, and that those buyers will be able to
push their fees down.
Comcast, which owns large amounts of content after its 2011
merger with NBC Universal, and Time Warner Cable paid nearly $14
billion to content companies last year for the rights to show their
films, television shows and sporting events.
The involvement of states typically gives the Justice Department
additional resources — and sometimes creates additional pressure — to ensure that a proposed transaction complies with antitrust law.
The Federal Communications Commission must also approve the deal
before it can close.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Ros Krasny, Doina Chiacu and
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