It’s time to close the book on Time Warner Cable’s 43-year history. It officially became part of Charter Communications this morning when the company closed its acquisition of TWC and Bright House Networks.
That makes Charter the nation’s No. 2 cable company, after Comcast. The new cable giant has more than 25 million customers in 41 states, including 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 Bright House.
“Current Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable customers won’t see many changes right away, though in the coming months they will begin to hear more from us about the Spectrum brand, and the product improvements and consumer friendly policies that come with it,” Charter CEO Tom Rutledge says. “Charter’s objective is to provide high quality products at great prices, and back it up with excellent customer service, and we intend to continually improve the way we do business in order to be the very best at what we do.”
Along with the acquisitions, Charter announced two deals with Liberty Broadband — the John Malone-controlled entity that’s its biggest shareholder. To help finance the TWC deal, Liberty bought $4.3 billion of newly issued Charter stock at $195.70 per share. And for the Bright House transaction, Liberty bought $700 million worth of new Charter shares at $191.33 apiece.
Rutledge is Chairman and CEO of Charter. Its board also includes seven independent directors, two designated by former Bright House owner Advance/Newhouse, and three directors designated by Liberty Broadband.
In its settlement 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.”