More than 99 percent of Comcast shareholders voted on Wednesday to support a company proposal that continues the march towards a merger with Time Warner Cable.
Comcast announced the news at its special shareholders meeting Wednesday morning at the Kimmel Center for The Performing Arts in Philadelphia, reporting that the overwhelming majority of its shareholders supported the company’s proposal to issue 2.875 shares of Comcast Class A common stock for every one share of Time Warner Cable common stock.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the merger — which was announced back in February — is a done deal. Time Warner Cable shareholders will vote on similar merger terms on Thursday, and the merger will then be subject to several FCC regulatory approvals and customary conditions.
If all procedures go according to plan, the $45 billion deal will close in early 2015. The combined company would control roughly 35 percent of the country’s cable customers.
Amidst complaints that the merger could reduce competition and adversely affect Net Neutrality (in recent weeks Netflix, DirecTV, and Discovery Communications have all spoken critically about the move), Comcast has gone out of its way to assure customers that the combined company will ensure an open Internet and continued protection of its customers.
Comcast has also said that the resulting company will increase Internet speeds 13 times in 12 years, will build a Wi-Fi network that plans to reach 8 million hotspots by the end of the year, and will invest billions in new technologies. The company has also committed to increased investment in its Internet Essentials program to bring Internet access to more low-income families than ever before.