FCC backs Charter purchase of Time Warner Cable, Bright House: sources

Thu May 5, 2016 1:09pm EDT
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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A majority of the five-member U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to approve Charter Communications Inc's (CHTR.O: Quote) acquisitions of Time Warner Cable Inc TWC.N and Bright House Networks, two sources briefed on the matter said on Thursday.

The deals, which would create the second-largest U.S. broadband provider and third-largest video provider, won the backing of FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Michael O'Rielly this week, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had already voted to approve them.

The two other FCC commissioners have yet to vote on the matter.

O'Rielly dissented in part, meaning the final conditions of the agency's approval could change before the full vote is completed and made public. The U.S. Justice Department gave antitrust approval to the acquisitions with conditions on April 25.

The FCC declined to comment on Thursday.

Charter and Time Warner Cable shareholders have approved the companies' deal. Privately-held Bright House also is in favor of its acquisition.

The only other outstanding approval needed is from California. A state administrative judge last month recommended that California's public utilities commission approve the deal. The decision could come as early as May 12.   Continued...

A Time Warner Cable sign and logo are seen on the exterior of a Time Warner Cable store in the Manhattan borough of New York City, May 26, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar