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Comcast to divest after Time Warner deal

Three-step plan needs FCC blessing

Update: see Bob Fernandez's Inquirer story here. Earlier: Comcast this morning laid out plans to move 3.9 million customers to other companies, after buying Time Warner Cable. The deals are designed to raise cash to pay down debt, while also slipping the combined cable-Internet-phone-entertainment giant below the FCC's guidelines limiting cable companies to 30 percent of the U.S. market.

The deal calls for Comcast to sell 1.4 million customers to Charter Communications, which will be the second-largest cable operator after Comcast sells. Also, Charter would set up and be a minority owner of an independent, publicly-traded company to serve another 2.5 million customers. And, Comcast and Charter would trade systems serving a total of 3.2 million customers in ways that would help each to consolidate its geographic territory.

Comcast expects at the end of all the proposed deals it will have cut $1.5 billion from operating costs. Boss Brian Roberts in a statement promised a "smooth transition" for users and workers. Deals need FCC approval. The companies will meet investors at 8 a.m. to talk more about the plans. You can hear them talk at, go to the Investor & News button.