FCC confirms approval of Charter, Time Warner Cable merger

Fri May 6, 2016 4:15pm EDT
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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission confirmed on Friday that it had voted to approve Charter Communications Inc's acquisitions of Time Warner Cable Inc and Bright House Networks.

The deals, which would create the second-largest U.S. broadband provider and third-largest video provider, now need approval from regulators in California.

A state administrative judge last month recommended that California's public utilities commission approve the deal. The decision is expected at a May 12 hearing.

Tom Rutledge, president and chief executive of Charter, said in a statement Friday that the transactions have "significant benefits" including greater competition, broader access to affordable broadband, and new U.S. jobs. The FCC-imposed conditions "are largely extensions of the longstanding consumer friendly values and practices of our company," Rutledge said.

A majority of the five-member FCC voted to approve the deals earlier this week.

The FCC said in a statement Friday that an "order detailing the commission’s reasoning and the conditions will be issued in the coming days."

Charter has valued its deal for Time Warner Cable at $56.7 billion, excluding debt, and the acquisition of Bright House at $10.4 billion.

The U.S. Justice Department gave antitrust approval to the acquisitions with conditions on April 25 and earlier Charter and Time Warner Cable shareholders approved the companies' deal.   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