Speed Reads

Mergers and acquisitions

FCC chairman recommends approving Charter-Time Warner Cable deal, with conditions

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission announced on Monday he is recommending the approval of Charter Communications' $78 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

The U.S. Justice Department also looked into the deal to ensure it does not violate antitrust laws, and on Monday it said it would allow the transaction to proceed, too. The agreement also covers Charter's $10.4 billion acquisition of Bright House Networks, the Los Angeles Times reports. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said he proposed several conditions for Charter that would last seven years, specifically that they won't be able to impose data caps or charge usage-based prices and interconnection fees.

If the other four FCC commissioners agree to the deal, "an additional two million customer locations will have access to a high-speed connection," Wheeler said in a statement. "At least one million of those connections will be in competition with another high-speed broadband provider in the market served, bringing innovation and new choices for consumers, and demonstrate the viability of one broadband provider overbuilding another." If Charter, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks merge, it will create the second-largest cable TV and internet service provider in the United States, with only Comcast having more cable customers.