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Comcast has agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable for about $159 a share in a deal that would combine the nation's two biggest cable companies, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The all-stock deal is valued at about $45 billion, representing an 18% premium from TWC's market capitalization based on its Wednesday closing price of $135.31.

TWC had been pursued by another cable company, Charter Communications, backed by John Malone.