Strong speculation on Friday
about a possible merger between Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications -- the second- and fourth-largest cable operators in the U.S. -- quieted a bit on Monday.
Pushing the deal --
according to a report from CNBC -- was Liberty Media, which owns a 27% stake in Charter Communications numbering 5.2 million subscribers. Liberty Media -- which owns other interests in cable,
including networks QVC and Starz -- reportedly approached Time Warner Cable about a deal. Time Warner Cable has 15 million subscribers.
In May, Liberty agreed to invest $2.6 billion in
Charter. Liberty CEO Greg Maffei has said Charter used to consolidate cable operators. Bloomberg News
said early last week that Liberty was focusing on Time Warner Cable.
report on CNBC also said Time Warner Cable showed no interest in a deal. Still, investors of both Time Warner Cable and Charter perked up on Friday -- Time Warner, 8%; Charter, 5%.
Monday, stock prices of both companies were less active -- Time Warner was down 2.3% to $101.52 in mid-day trading; Charter was up 0.8% to $117.57.