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Comcast has agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. for about $159 a share in a deal that would combine the nation's two biggest cable companies, media reports say.

Multiple media outlets reported the deal Wednesday night. Bloomberg said the deal was to be announced Thursday morning, citing unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations. The Wall Street Journal reported the deal was worth $45 billion.

Comcast had been pursued by another cable company, Charter Communications, backed by John Malone. It had offered about $132.50 a share in a bid rejected by Time Warner. It countered with a $160 a share price.

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