Comcast said Thursday it had agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion in a deal that would combine the two biggest cable companies in the United States.
If the deal is approved, the combined group will be the country's dominant provider of television channels and Internet connections, reaching roughly one in three American homes.
Time Warner Cable owners will be offered 2.875 Comcast shares for each share they own, valuing Time Warner Cable at about $158.82 per share.
The two companies expect the merger to take effect by the end of the year, but regulators are likely to take a close look at the potential impact on consumers.
To address those concerns, Comcast said it was prepared to divest about 3 million subscribers. But it would still have about 30 million customers. Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit will lead the merged company.
The proposed deal ends months of jockeying for control of Time Warner Cable, the second biggest U.S. supplier of cable television, with about 11 million subscribers in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.