FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is planning to circulate a draft order soon approving Charter Communications’ $55 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable, The Wall Street Journal reported. The move could happen this week.
The report says the federal greenlight would come with a number of conditions, notably targeting efforts to buoy online video as a competitor to cable TV. Citing sources, WSJ said one stipulation would prohibit Charter from including clauses in its pay-TV contracts that restrict a content company’s ability to offer its programming online or to new entrants in the space.
Wheeler’s recommendation would go to the other four FCC commissioners for their review, and a majority vote is needed for approval. There could be modifications to the order, but signs point to approval of the mega-merger that was proposed in the wake of NBCUniversal parent Comcast’s failed bid for TWC last year.
Charter CEO Says Feds Shouldn't Worry About John Malone's Content Investments
The deal would unite the No. 2 and No. 3 cable and Internet providers in the U.S., but opponents of the deal worry that it would reduce competition.
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