Charter Communications will become the nation’s No. 2 cable operator next week after the California Public Utilities Commission today approved its deal to buy Time Warner Cable. This was the last hurdle for the transaction, which the FCC and Justice Department endorsed after Charter agreed to several conditions.
“We are pleased to have now obtained all approvals,” Charter CEO Tom Rutledge says. “We look forward to closing these transactions next week and to begin delivering the many benefits of these transactions to consumers.”
Charter has been after TWC since late 2013. The company thwarted Charter’s hostile offer in 2014 by agreeing to sell itself to Comcast, but that fell apart early last year when federal regulators said they would try to block it. Charter returned and made a friendly deal to buy TWC in late May 2015.
Charter will have more than 17 million video subscribers with outposts in New York and Los Angeles — and a major holdings in New York state, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, the Carolinas. and Texas.
The Justice Department put a $78 billion value on the TWC deal, with an additional $10.4 billion for a related acquisition of Bright House Networks.
In its terms with federal officials, Charter agreed to refrain from doing anything to deter a programmer from licensing content to an online service. It will boost by 2 million the number of “customer locations” with high-speed connections.
The cable company also agreed to not impose data caps, tie Internet rates to usage or charge an interconnection fee to video providers that “deliver large volumes of internet traffic.”
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