As the DOJ and FCC continue to review whether they will approve, lay conditions or simply block the Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC) merger, one expert believes that Comcast could have a backup plan in the event the proposed merger with TWC falls through.
According to Rich Greenfield, analyst with BTIG Research, if the regulatory body discards Comcast's proposed merger with TWC, then Comcast could potentially look to acquire several other options, such as Netflix, to give a fillip to its business.
In a blog post, Greenfield suggested that Comcast's "insatiable appetite for acquisitions," coupled with its affluence, is a heady indication that the firm could seek out alternatives, which might not raise similar concerns as the ones surrounding its bid to acquire TWC.
"With Netflix now at a $30 billion market cap with most of its profits reinvested in overseas expansion, acquiring Netflix would be massively dilutive to Comcast shareholders," noted Greenfield. "With consumers increasingly interested in ad-free streaming, Netflix could provide Comcast with an incredible team and platform to learn from, which could accelerate Comcast's virtual MVPD efforts."
With the possibility of regulators not giving a green light to the proposed TWC-Comcast merger, Comcast would be more likely to get a go-ahead for a deal with Netflix, which is of course subject to the streaming service agreeing in the first place.
Netflix has successfully been able to develop a service that can work across multiple devices and platforms seamlessly. In the event Comcast is able to convince Netflix to come on board, then the former's broadband and pay-TV services would benefit from the latter's technology. Potentially, Netflix could be integrated into cable boxes from Comcast, which in turn could give a boost to the subscriptions.
According to Greenfield, Comcast could also eye content creators such as The Blaze or Vice.
The analyst suggested that Comcast may even also opt for the wireless route and attempt to take Sprint or T-Mobile.
Even though the impending Comcast-TWC mega deal is hanging in the air, with concerns of being rejected, Comcast supposedly has a backup plan, but all this is speculative at this point.
Comcast's EVP David Cohen, however, seems optimistic of the deal closing soon.
"We are confident that we can reach agreement with the CPUC on a regime of appropriate conditions that will protect and enhance the public interest, and we look forward to accomplishing that objective in the coming weeks," wrote Cohen in a blog post on March 5.