Comcast wants to spin off its Twin Cities cable TV, Internet and phone-service operations. But the transfer and related deals depend on regulators approving Comcast's acquisition of Time Warner Cable.
That proposed takeover would make Comcast by far the nation's leading provider of cable TV and high-speed residential Internet service, which has alarmed regulators and consumer watchdog groups.
To allay fears of market dominance, Comcast is proposing to shed some of its operations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and several other states.
They would be transferred to a newly formed company to be run initially by Connecticut-based Charter Communications, said Comcast spokeswoman Mary Beth Schubert.
"Comcast will form and spin off to its shareholders a new, independent, publicly traded company that will operate systems serving approximately 2.5 million existing Comcast customers, including those in the Twin Cities," Schubert said.
Comcast's local footprint stretches from Minnetonka to western Wisconsin and from Rogers to Hastings. The company does not reveal how many subscribers it has.
Comcast's Twin Cities network has had many owners over the years, including Continental Cablevision, Paragon, MediaOne, US West, AT&T Broadband and Time Warner.
Schubert said there will be no immediate change to customer service because of this news.
"None of this takes effect until we have approval for the proposed acquisition of Time Warner," she said.