Comcast to Buy Time Warner Cable for $45B: A Home Automation Powerhouse?

Comcast Corp. (Xfinity) has agreed to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. for $45.2 billion in an all-stock deal that combines the two largest U.S. cable operators, both of which are playing heavily in the entry-level home automation market using the same DIY platform from iControl.

According to Reuters, the deal, which must be approved by antitrust regulators from the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice, comes after Charter Communications had been publicly pursuing the purchase of TWC for months. Comcast will pay $158.82 per share.

The combined company would have 30 million cable customers, or about 30 percent of all U.S. cable TV subscribers. DirecTV has about 20 million video customers, says Reuters. Comcast acquired NBC Universal in 2013 for $17 billion. According to analysts, the two companies would save $1.5 billion in operating costs.

Both companies in recent years have entered the home automation market, heavily advertising their wares – Xfinity Home Security and TWC Intelligent Home. Like Cox and other major cable companies, TWC and Comcast use cloud-based platforms from iControl, with hardware that communicates via ZigBee and IP.

While both launched their offerings as professionally installed and monitored services, Comcast recently launched a DIY solution called Xfinity Home Control using iControl’s new Touchstone platform.

That new $10/month service was meant to compete with Verizon’s Home Monitoring and Control offering, but Verizon recently shelved that initiative. Other DIY offerings in the $10/month range include Schlage’s Nexia, Lowe’s Iris and Staples Connect, which carries no monthly fee now but is expected to do so in the future.

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