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Charter seeks talks with Time Warner Cable -source

(Recasts with source, details on Charter contacting banks)

By Liana B. Baker

April 24 (Reuters) - Charter Communications Inc representatives have reached out to Time Warner Cable to begin discussions on a potential merger, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Earlier Comcast Corp abandoned a $45 billion offer for Time Warner Cable after U.S. regulators raised concerns that the deal would give Comcast an unfair advantage in the cable TV and Internet-based services market.

Charter contacted banks in recent weeks to begin preparations to arrange financing for the potential deal, even before Comcast announced it was dropping its bid for Time Warner Cable, the person added.

Comcast's all-stock bid was worth about $159 per Time Warner Cable share at the time of the offer last year. At Comcast's current share price that bid would be about $172 per share.

Time Warner Cable shares were up 4.8 percent at $155.95 in afternoon trading. Charter shares were down 0.3 percent at $183.02.

News of the efforts to begin talks was first reported by Bloomberg on Friday.

Charter declined to comment and Time Warner could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Additional reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in Bengaluru and Meredith Mazzilli in New York; Editing by Kirti Pandey, Bernard Orr and Ted Botha)