FCC Moves Closer to Approving Charter-Time Warner Cable Merger (Report)

Time Warner Cable Charter Communications
Courtesy of Time Warner Cable Charter Communications

The FCC appears to be moving closer to approving the $55 billion merger of Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable.

The Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is expected to circulate a draft proposal this week for approving the mega cable merger, with some conditions. A majority of the five FCC commissioners must vote in favor of the agreement for the deal to win approval. The Journal reported that the FCC’s expected action is a signal that the Justice Department, which has also been reviewing the merger, is prepared to also give its blessing.

Among the conditions expected would be provisions relating to Charter’s broadband service offerings and limits on the company’s ability to prevent cable programmers from selling their channels to rival digital distributors. The impact of a bulked-up Charter on the nascent market for streaming channels has been a focus of the debate around the deal that would make Charter the second-largest cable operation behind Comcast.

In addition to Time Warner Cable, Charter is also poised to acquire the smaller Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion, bringing the enlarged company’s subscriber count to 17.3 million video subscribers and 19.4 million broadband subs.

Charter, with backing from cable mogul John Malone’s Liberty Broadband, swooped in last year to cut a deal with Time Warner Cable after Comcast’s deal to buy TW Cable was scrapped in the face of overwhelming opposition in Washington.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety