Tags: charter | time warner cable | comcast | regulatory trouble

Charter's Deal to Face Less Regulatory Trouble Than Comcast Did

Tuesday, 26 May 2015 12:17 PM

Charter Communications Inc.’s proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc. faces fewer hurdles to U.S. regulatory approval than Comcast Corp.’s ill-fated bid to buy the No. 2 cable provider.

Charter said the combination, along with its purchase of Bright House Networks, would create a company serving fewer than 30 percent of U.S. subscribers to high-speed Internet service. That figure was 57 percent in the deal Comcast abandoned last month under pressure from regulators concerned about preserving online competition to traditional cable video.

The Charter deal doesn’t pose the same harm to the broadband market, Jonathan Chaplin, an analyst with New Street Research, said in a note Tuesday. He listed further characteristics in the deal’s favor: Comcast owns NBCUniversal and Charter doesn’t have content assets; Charter doesn’t have a history of disputes with online providers such as Netflix Inc., and it hasn’t been accused of violating behavioral requirements set in previous mergers.

The deal needs approval from the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who helped kill Comcast’s deal, in a statement Tuesday said the agency “reviews every merger on its merits and determines whether it would be in the public interest.”

“An absence of harm is not sufficient,” Wheeler said. “The commission will look to see how American consumers would benefit if the deal were to be approved.”

Wheeler last week called the leaders of Charter and Time Warner Cable to dispel dispel notions that industry mergers won’t be approved by regulators, a person with knowledge of the calls said.

Peter Carr, a Justice Department spokesman, didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.


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Charter Communications Inc.'s proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc. faces fewer hurdles to U.S. regulatory approval than Comcast Corp.'s ill-fated bid to buy the No. 2 cable provider.
charter, time warner cable, comcast, regulatory trouble
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2015-17-26
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 12:17 PM
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