America's two largest cable companies Time Warner and Comcast have announced plans to make a joint bid for Adelphia Communications, which has been operating under bankruptcy protection after a financial crisis and allegations of boardroom fraud.

Adelphia launched its auction last week and is prepared to accept bids for any or all of the seven groups within its cable system. Time Warner and Comcast are believed to be interested in bidding for the entire company.

Comcast has recently been considering ways to sell its 21% stake in Time Warner Cable, which could be achieved by receiving some Adelphia cable systems from Time Warner in exchange for the stake.

This week, Time Warner granted Comcast permission to reduce the stake to 17% in exchange for 90,000 cable subscribers and $750 million (€609.5m; £413.8m) in cash. Comcast also agreed not to trigger an initial public offering of Time Warner Cable for the next six months.

Final bids for Adelphia are expected by the end of the year.

Data sourced from Forbes Online; additional content by WARC staff