FCC Approves Charter’s Purchase of TWC and Bright House

The Federal Communications Commission has approved the proposed acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks by Charter Communications. If California regulators also approve (a decision is expected by Thursday), the deals would result in the second-largest broadband provider and third-largest video provider in the U.S. The Time Warner Cable deal is valued at $56.7 billion, while the Bright House deal is valued at $10.4 billion. Thomas Rutledge, president and chief exec of Charter, said the deals would lead to increased competition, more access to affordable broadband and new jobs.

Charter, which is backed by John Malone’s Liberty Media, has competed with cable provider Comcast in recent years for a deal with TWC.

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“The Justice Department gave antitrust approval to the acquisitions with conditions on April 25, and Charter and Time Warner Cable shareholders have already agreed to the deals,” reports The New York Times.

According to FCC chair Tom Wheeler, conditions of the approval would require that Charter offer high-speed Internet to an additional two million customers within the next five years.

Last week, the FCC also approved European telecom group Altice’s purchase of “Cablevision Systems in a $17.7 billion deal that includes assumption of debt,” notes NYT. “Altice still needs approval from the State of New York and New York City. If the deal is approved, Altice would become the fourth-largest cable provider in the United States.”