Comcast has closed the books on the failed merger with Time Warner Cable but not on future transactions, including international plays for ad technology, wireless or content.
These are likely to be shepherded by the investment company it created in partnership with chief financial officer, Michael Angelakis, who will step down once the company finds a replacement.
“I’m thrilled about the partnership with Michael,” Roberts said Monday during the company’s quarterly earnings call. “It may lead to businesses Comcast will want to own outright.”
Roberts was clear the company has “moved on” from the merger, which the company ended last month when regulators said they were ready to block it.
“Of course we’re disappointed, but it was a unique one-off situation,” Roberts said.
Transaction costs related to the merger cost the company $61 million in the quarter or just under $300 million overall, according to Comcast’s SEC filings.
Comcast is also not interested in picking up any swaps or spin-offs from a potential Charter-Time Warner Cable deal. “I don’t know what is or is not possible. Every conversation is unique. Right now we like our assets,” Roberts said.
Even though Comcast is part of a lawsuit filed by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association against the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality order, it didn’t express overly strong misgivings.
“It really hasn’t affected how we do our business or will do our business,” said Neil Smit, president and CEO of Comcast Cable and executive vice president of Comcast Corp. “We don’t agree with it… How it emerges remains to be seen.”
The company also declined to say what it might do about Verizon’s Custom TV product, which Comcast has said is a violation of its contract. “We’ll have to see what each company pursues in conversations,” Roberts said.
A continuing bright spot in Comcast’s financials is retransmission consent fees, which the company estimated would close in on $500 million.