Charter-TWC Merger Is Done Deal After California Approval

After the FCC gave its blessing to the marriage of Time Warner Cable and Charter, the only thing standing in the way of marital bliss was the possibility that the California Public Utilities Commission might go full drunk-uncle and raise a boatload of objections before the final “I do”s.  However, today the CPUC decided instead to raise a toast to the mega-merger.

Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications (and the third wheel of the merger á trois, Bright House) will now be the second largest U.S. cable provider after agreeing to provide broadband to more customers, Bloomberg reports.

The California Public Utilities Commission announced it had unanimously voted to approve the $55 billion merger during a meeting in Sacramento on Thursday, noting that thumbs-up came after the companies agreed to also offer broadband at higher speeds.

“We look forward to closing these transactions next week,” Charter Chief Executive Officer Tom Rutledge said in an e-mailed statement. “We are pleased to have now obtained all approvals.”

The CPUC’s approval centered on whether or not it would allow TWC to hand over its substantial franchises in the state (for example, much of Los Angeles) to Charter.

Had the state regulator had concerns about the merger, it could have tried to impose additional conditions on the deal or deny the swap of the California franchises, which would likely have led to a courtroom battle.

MORE: 5 Things You Should Know About The Approved Merger Of Time Warner Cable & Charter

The final approval comes just a week after the FCC officially confirmed that it has given its blessing to this marriage of inconvenience.

Under the deal accepted by the companies, New Charter will no enact any sort of data limits or usage-based pricing for at least seven years.

That means that while Comcast and other internet service providers rush to cap users’ monthly data allotments, New Charter customers won’t be burdened with such concerns — at least until after 2023.

What they will be burdened with is a merged company where both the old and new owners have, at best, subpar reputations for providing reliable customer service.

Charter-TWC Deal Clears Final Hurdle With California Approval [Bloomberg]

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