Charter’s Merger With Time Warner Cable Nears Regulatory Approval

Enlarge this imageMark Lennihan/APMark Lennihan/APCharter Communications has bid additional than $88 billion to obtain its bigger rival, Time Warner Cable , plus a more compact competitor referred to as Bright Home Networks and it really is closing in about the expected regulatory approval from federal authorities. The deal will be yet one more main shakeup within the telecom sector: It would form the second-largest Internet provider, at the rear of Comcast, as well as the third-largest movie provider, guiding Comcast and the recently merged AT&T/DirecTV. According to telecom analytics from MoffettNathanson, the so-called “New Charter” would have about 21 million broadband subscribers and 17.4 million video clip subscribers. Telecom mergers require acceptance of the antitrust regulators at the Justice Department along with the Federal Communications Commi sion, which decides whether a offer is within the public interest. The DOJ has now approved Charter’s merger with Time Warner Cable and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has also recommended acceptance both with conditions. As the New York Times reports, the conditions include protections for the online movie streaming market:”The Federal Communications Commi sion Matt Gay Jersey and Justice Department imposed strong restrictions around the deals, including an order from the Justice Department that strictly prohibits the combined company from entering anticompetive deals with programmers that would keep shows and movies off streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. The F.C.C. also imposed conditions to its acceptance to protect the nascent online video streaming marketplace. The agency said Charter agreed that for seven years it will not impose data caps on users and will abide by so-called net neutrality rules, even if the rules are overturned in a separate federal appeals court case.” Charter swept in last year with an offer to buy its larger rival after a similar bid from Comcast was rejected in Washington over concerns that a bigger Comcast would exert too much control over the broadband market. Comcast had previously outbid Charter as the two companies vied for a tie-up with Time Warner Cable. To close the deal, Charter now needs a formal vote from the five-member FCC as well as approval of the California Public Utilities Commi sion. The company i sued a statement welcoming the moves by the DOJ as well as the FCC chairman, adding:”The conditions that will be imposed ensure Charter’s current consumer-friendly and pro-broadband busine ses practices will be maintained by New Charter. We are confident New Charter will be a leading competitor from the broadband and video clip markets and are optimistic that we will soon receive final approval from federal regulators as well as the California PUC.”


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