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Charter nears deal to buy Time Warner Cable for about $55 billion

Charter Communications Inc. is close to buying Time Warner Cable for about $55 billion, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because of the private nature of the deal talks.

One of the people said the deal will be announced early Tuesday morning.

Charter had wanted to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. earlier, but Time Warner Cable chose a $45 billion offer from Comcast Corp. instead.

Comcast walked away from the Time Warner Cable deal after regulators pushed back against it. Regulators had concerns that the two companies together would undermine online video competition. The combined company would have served more than half the country’s broadband subscribers, and consumer advocates said a merger would limit choices and lead to higher prices.

Time Warner Cable representative Ellen East and Charter spokesman Justin Venech both declined to comment on the talks between their companies.

Cable companies are losing cable subscribers and facing more pressure from online services such as Netflix and Amazon for consumers who watch TV over broadband connections.

Shares of Time Warner Cable closed Friday at $171.18. They have climbed 13 per cent so far in 2015, compared with a 3 per cent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.