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Comcast set to buy Time Warner

The country's two largest cable companies will become one, an anonymous source familiar with the subject said Wednesday. An announcement is expected Thursday.

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A cable truck returns to a Time Warner Cable office in San Diego, California in this December file photo. Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, will buy No. 2 Time Warner Cable.

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Comcast has agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion in stock, or $158.82 per share, in a deal that would combine the top two cable TV companies in the nation.

That's according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced formally. An announcement is set for Thursday morning, the person said.

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The price is about 17 percent above Time Warner Cable shares' closing price Wednesday.

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The deal trumps a proposal by Charter Communications Inc. to buy Time Warner for about $38 billion in cash and stock worth $132.50 per share and comes just a day after Charter said it was preparing a proxy fight by nominating a full slate of directors to Time Warner Cable's board.