The Federal Communications Commission has approved Altice NV’s proposed $17.7 billion acquisition of Cablevision Systems Corp. As part of the deal, the European telecom group would assume Cablevision debt and invest to upgrade the company’s broadband. According to the FCC, Altice has a record of improving services after investing in broadband companies in Belgium, France, Israel, Luxembourg and Portugal. In December, the FCC approved Altice’s $9.1 billion purchase of Missouri-based cable company Suddenlink Communications.
The Cablevision deal would also include assets such as the News 12 programming networks, Long Island daily Newsday, NYC free daily amNewYork, and Long Island-based Star Community Publishing.
“The Dutch firm still needs approval from the state of New York and New York City,” explains Reuters. “If the deal is approved, Altice would become the fourth largest U.S. cable provider. Cablevision has 3.1 million subscribers, mostly in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.”
“We find the transaction is unlikely to have adverse competitive effects,” said the FCC, as reported by Multichannel News. However, “We find that the transaction is likely to result in some public interest benefits of increased broadband speeds and more affordable options for low income consumers in Cablevision’s service territory.”