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Cable TV Merger Would Also Join Internet Giants

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NEW YORK — On the face of it, the merger of the two largest US cable companies would seem like a non-starter, given its steep regulatory hurdles and skepticism from consumer watchdogs.

But Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable comes at a moment of seismic change in the television industry, with consumers increasingly cutting their cable cords and instead streaming their favorite shows via the Internet through such services as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, and Hulu.

This shifting landscape may aid Comcast as it seeks to persuade government officials — and deploys its prodigious army of lobbyists — to get its $45 billion takeover approved.

“I believe television will change more in the next five years than in the last 50,” Brian L. Roberts, Comcast’s chief executive, has said.

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