Late last month, the Justice Department approved Charter’s planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable, but as we noted, the merger still required a go-ahead from the Federal Communication Commission. In a statement today, the FCC announced that it has voted in favor of the acquisition, a business move that will result in the second-largest broadband provider in the U.S. In addition to TWC, Charter will be buying Bright House Networks.
The deal was approved yesterday and announced today, according to the FCC. The approval was given conditionally, though, and we still await details on what those conditions are. Previously, Chairman Wheeler made it known that conditions would be presented, and that some of them would concern interconnection agreements to protect the video market.
Whether that condition was part of the agreement and how long the conditions will be in place isn’t clear at this time.
The deal isn’t without its critics, though — many worry about having a market dominated by two giants (this deal will also produce the third-largest cable provider in the nation), and the such cable monopolies will ultimately harm consumers. As we noted previously, the Justice Department also imposed conditions on its approval, in part requiring Charter to agree that it won’t stop content providers from offering their shows online.
Whether such merger terms and limitations will offer enough consumer protection is yet to be seen. Charter still requires approval from the state of California; the two companies’ respective boards have already approved the planned acquisition.
SOURCE: The Hill