Charter completes purchase of Time Warner Cable

Charter completes purchase of Time Warner Cable
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Charter Communication completed its purchase of Time Warner Cable and a smaller operator on Wednesday, creating the second largest cable operator in the country.

It marks a victory for the company, which was able to obtain the regulatory approval for the purchase that eluded Comcast when it tried to purchase Time Warner.

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“Current Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable customers won't see many changes right away, though in the coming months they will begin to hear more from us about the Spectrum brand, and the product improvements and consumer friendly policies that come with it,” said Tom Rutledge, Charter’s CEO, in a statement.

Bloomberg reported that Charter will phase out the Time Warner Cable brand over time.

The deal was announced just under a year ago. In addition to buying Time Warner Cable, Charter is buying Bright House Networks, a smaller operator. The two transactions are worth about $88 billion combined.

The Federal Communications Commission approved the deal in April with several conditions that Chairman Tom Wheeler said will encourage competition in the video marketplace. The company will, for as long as seven years, not be able to charge customers based on how much data they use or cap their data consumption, among other stipulations.

The Justice Department has also put conditions on the deal. The deal received its final approval from a California utilities commission last week.

Charter’s purchase of Time Warner Cable came after Comcast, the largest operator in the country, dropped its bid under harsh scrutiny from regulators. Critics said that deal would have created a cable provider with too much power.

Many of the same people were skeptical of the Charter-Time Warner Cable deal, because they said it would create a market with only two major players that could use their influence to effect competition for video services.