Time Warner Cable is getting bigger by going smaller.
On Tuesday morning, Charter Communications [fortune-stock symbol=”CHTR”] announced that it was buying Time Warner Cable [fortune-stock symbol=”CHTR”] for nearly $79 billion, including debt. That cable companies feel they need to get bigger is not new. Cable firms want more bargaining power in their negotiations with large content providers like Time Warner, which owns HBO and spun off TWC a few years ago, and Twenty-First Century Fox, not to mention Netflix. That was the logic behind Time Warner Cable’s proposed deal with Comcast, which was called off last month.
But a quirk of Tuesday’s deal is that Charter, the company now buying Time Warner Cable, is actually the smaller of the two, by a lot. TWC had revenue of $23 billion last year. Charter’s revenue was less than half of that, at $9 billion.
It’s not clear why TWC is the one…
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