Federal regulators brought two big cable deals closer to reality, moving to approve $65.5 billion acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks by Charter Communications, The New York Times reports.
The moves this week pave the way for “the creation of a new cable giant as the industry focuses more on broadband as traditional TV declines,” The Times reports.
“Yet, the orders to approve the deals were coupled with many restrictions that illustrate how regulators are increasingly using their power to further policy goals that are not covered by current regulations for the industry,” the report adds. “The Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department imposed mandates on the acquisitions aimed at protecting streaming video companies and providing cheaper broadband services to low-income families, some of which go far beyond regulations for the entire cable and Internet sectors.”
The Times also notes: “Attaching the restrictions could blunt the power of the combined Charter entity, which becomes the country’s second-largest broadband provider with 19.4 million users and the third-largest cable television provider with 17.4 million customers.”