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Charter Communication CEO Met FCC Regarding Acquisition of Time Warner Cable

April 12
7:45 AM 2016

CEO of Charter Communication Tom Rutledge met Tom Wheeler, FCC chairman last week. The meeting discussed the merger between Charter and Time Warner Cable (TWC) which has already been past its deadline for approval.

Federal Communications Commission is required to grant a clearance in order for the merger between Charter and Time Warner Cable to be finalized. The acquisition has been under scrutiny by the FCC, after Time Warner Inc., a former parent company of TWC made a formal filing to FCC last month.

Time Warner Inc.spun off its cable channel division to become independent company in 2009. The company had asked FCC to investigate the acquisition further, as it suspected that Charter may try to harm streaming video service once the acquisition is approved.

Reuters reported in the filing made to FCC, Charter Communication CEO met FCC chairman last 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."

The meeting was the second one, after the first meeting was held on March 16 according to separate filing by Charter. The cable company had discussed the expansion of its broadband network to new customer locations. Charter also reiterated"its commitments to settlement-free interconnection and broadband service without usage based pricing or data caps," as the filing said.

Charter Communications announced the acquisition of Warner Cable in May last year. The $56 billion cash-and-stock deal would make the new company the second largest Internet and cable company in the US after Comcast Corp. Shareholders of both companies have agreed to the terms of acquisition, and are waiting for regulatory approval.

Last month, Franchise and Concession Review Committee of New York City approve the acquisition following the approval from New York's Public Service Commission regulators in January. However, the acquisition have received strong opposition some areas due to fear of duopoly.

If the deal is aproved, both Charter and Comcast will control 70% of US broadband homes. Gene Kimmelman, president of the Washington-based policy group Public Knowledge told Bloomberg in an e-mail the merger will reduce the competition in the sector.

"Given the enormous threat to the growing online video market if an expanded Charter coordinates anti-competitive behavior with Comcast, we are hopeful enforcers are pressing for ironclad conditions," Kimmelman said.

Meanwhile as reported by Multi Channel, Charter Communication had announced to offer a new low-cost broadband service for low-income consumers if the deal is approved. The company said this offering is a part of the proposed TWC deal.

Charter announced that as part of the proposed TWC deal it would offer a new low-cost broadband service for low-income consumers if the deal is approved.

Charter Communication CEO Tom Rutledge met FCC chairman Tom Wheeler last week. The meeting discussed regulatory approval of the merger between Charter and TWC.

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