The $67 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks make Charter the second-largest home Internet provider and third-largest video provider in the U.S. Charter says its Spectrum brand will replace the Time Warner Cable and Bright House brands over the next 18 months or so.
Charter’s bid to acquire Time Warner Cable cleared its final regulatory hurdle Thursday, when regulators on the California Public Utility Commission approved the $55 billion deal.
As expected, the FCC on Thursday approved — with conditions — Charter Communications’ purchase of Time Warner Cable for $55.1 billion. The commission said an order detailing its reasoning and the conditions will be issued in the coming days.
Charter Communications Inc.’s purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc. has won approval from a majority at the FCC, a person familiar with the vote said. The development leaves assent from California as the final regulatory hurdle for the $55.1 billion deal.
Charter Communications expects to finally close its acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks “within a few days” of the California Public Utilities Commission’s May 12 approval vote of the deals. The combined company will be named simply “Charter.”
On Wednesday, Entertainment Studios Inc. (ESI) and The National Association of African American-Owned Media (NAAAOM) sent a letter to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) claiming that BPU has “facilitated racial discrimination in contracting due to its approval of the Charter Communications acquisition of Time Warner Cable.” On March 3, Entertainment Studios and […]
Charter Deal For TWC Looks Good To Go
The U.S. Justice Department approved Charter Communications’ proposed $88 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable and Bright House networks on Monday. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler then circulated an order seeking approval of the deal from the five-member FCC.
Charter Communications’ blockbuster deal to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks cleared a major hurdle Tuesday when a California administrative judge recommended approval of the deal.
Charter CEO Tom Rutledge met with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Wednesday to discuss “the public interest benefits of its proposed transaction with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks and the ways in which it will enhance competition,” according to a filing with the FCC by Charter.
Charter Communications is poised to gain FCC approval to join with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, and streaming looms large in the deal.
The Wall Street Journal reports that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is likely to circulate a draft order as soon as this week approving Charter Communications’s $55 billion deal to buy Time Warner Cable with certain conditions, according to people familiar with the matter. WSJ subscribers can read the story here.
Bridging the so-called digital divide — the gulf between people who have ready access to the Internet, and those like Escobar who do not — has long been a priority of President Obama. And addressing the issue has become a key component in the government’s review of Charter Communications’ proposed $67-billion plan to acquire two other cable companies — Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks — a merger that could transform the pay TV landscape.
Evidence Of Progressives’ Anti-Merger Mania
Media Institute President Patrick Maines: “The proposed merger between the cable systems of Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks has brought out the usual poseurs in opposition. As it happens, there exists a bridge between these armies of progressivism in the person of former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. Whatever the pros and cons of the Charter and Time Warner Cable merger — and there are many more of the former than the latter — it speaks volumes to know about the kinds of people who are in opposition to it.”
If approved, the merger would most likely include strong conditions meant to prevent Charter from leveraging its market power to hurt rival streaming services.
Executives of Time Warner and its HBO programming division met with officials of the FCC’s Media and Wireline Competition Bureaus last week, warning them that Charter’s purchases of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks could threaten the deployment of over-the-top services.
Regulators pushed back by two weeks their informal deadline to complete a review of Charter Communications Inc.’s purchase of Time Warner Cable. The FCC needs more time to examine recent filings on the deal’s potential impact to the distribution of Time Warner Cable’s regional sports networks and Charter’s residential pricing and packaging methods, among other things, the FCC said Monday.
NAB says that the FCC should put its review of the proposed merger of Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable on hold, arguing that the agency should first deal with outdated broadcast ownership rules before allowing more consolidation among cable and satellite providers.
While broadcasters and consumer advocates rarely unite on issues, both groups are worried that a proposed Time Warner-Charter merger will stifle competition and limit access to diverse programming and fair pricing for broadband.
The broadcasting group petitions the commission, saying it should complete a review of its media ownership rules before ruling on the merger.
The FCC on Friday started an informal 180-day shot clock of its review of the merger between Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable. It opened up comment on the merger and released its protective order meant to protect confidential business information factored into the review, while also allowing certain authorized participants to read the confidential material. The comment deadline on the review is Oct. 13, with reply comments due by Nov. 2. A second round of replies are due by Nov. 12.
The FCC is taking steps to start the “shot clock” on its review of the proposed merger between Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications. In a vote Wednesday, the agency approved an item protecting the companies’ confidential information during the review. The protective order for the multi-billion dollar deal must still be finalized and released. Once it’s released, it will allow the commission to start the 180-day so-called shot clock for reviewing the transaction.
The FCC hasn’t started the informal merger review clock on the Charter-Time Warner Cable deal because of a secret proposal Chairman Tom Wheeler is tying to the review process. Wheeler wants to weaken the legal standard used to determine if certain confidential information given to the commission in the course of a merger review can be shared with third parties. The proposal was circulated to the other four commissioners as part of the standard protective order for the Charter deals (which would start the merger clock).
Time Warner Cable is expecting to close with Charter by the end of the year. “We’re well into the process of seeking regulatory approvals,” Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus said Thursday morning during the company’s quarterly earnings call. “But if there’s anything we’ve learned, we don’t control the timing of the process.”
In a filing with the FCC Wednesday, the online video company said it supports the deal because Charter says it won’t charge companies to connect to its network and reach its customers. Charter’s policy, spread across the 19.4 million Internet customers that the larger company would serve, would be a “substantial public interest benefit” and would help get online services to consumers and promote innovation, Netflix said.
The chairman of Liberty Media, which is Charter Communication’s biggest shareholder, said Tuesday that TV Everywhere — the cable industry’s answer to Netflix — is a flop. Malone shared his blunt assessment of the initiative — which allows cable customers to watch TV shows via the Web — as part of his pitch for Charter buying bigger rival Time Warner Cable.
Charter Communications’ announcement of a deal for Time Warner Cable represents the fulfillment of a long-sought goal for the company’s chief executive, Thomas M. Rutledge.
Charter Communication’s proposed $55 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable would shrink the number of Internet and cable TV distributors in the U.S. to just four. With fewer outlets to sell their shows, cable networks would have less leverage to demand high fees and inclusion of some of their niche channels.The only solution may be for the networks to merge with one another — or be taken over by the cable and Internet distributors themselves.
Charter Communications on Tuesday announced plans to buy Time Warner Cable for about $56 billion and acquire smaller cable provider Bright House Networks for about $10 billion. The Charter transaction gives FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a former cable lobbyist-turned-regulator, a fresh chance to put his imprimatur on the rapidly evolving industry — and combat the impression that he’s become hostile to all industry consolidation.
Charter wasted no time making its pitch to regulators. The merged company just won’t be that big executives argued in a Tuesday conference call with investors. Through a series of deals that will merge Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks into a new company, “New Charter” will be the third largest multichannel video provider, behind Comcast and AT&T-DirecTV (assuming regulators approve that deal.) Charter will serve less than 17% of the multichannel video subscribers nationally.
The $56.7 billion deal is the latest in the sector as companies struggle to keep pace with the changing habits of how Americans watch and pay for television.