California Judge Recommends Approval Of Charter-Time Warner Cable Deal

Originally appeared in Los Angeles Times
By: Meg James and Yvonne Villarreal
April 12, 2016

Charter Communications‘ blockbuster deal to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks cleared a major hurdle Tuesday when a California administrative judge recommended approval of the deal.

Administrative Law Judge Karl Bemesderfer, in a 74-page opinion, recommended that the California Public Utilities Commission approve Charter’s takeover plans, but he attached a long list of conditions designed to ensure that the cable consolidation carries benefits to the public.

The proposed $67-billion plan would make Charter the dominant pay-TV and Internet service provider in Southern California with more than 2 million customer homes.
Read more here.

California Judge Advances Charter Bid for Time Warner Cable

Originally appeared in Bloomberg
By Todd Shields
April 12, 2016

Charter Communications Inc.’s proposed merger with Time Warner Cable Inc. cleared an important hurdle as an administrative law judge recommended California regulators approve the deal.

The merger still needs to clear U.S. authorities. California is the last state where it needs approval.

Administrative Law Judge Karl Bemesderfer concluded the merger is in the public interest in a decision distributed Tuesday by e-mail. He recommended approval by the California Public Utilities Commission, which could vote May 12.

If it succeeds in acquiring Time Warner Cable, Charter’s service would be available to nearly 6.4 million households in California, and the company would serve 87 percent of cable video subscribers in the Los Angeles market, according to testimony before the California agency.

Critics, including Dish Network Corp., which offers streaming video, told the California commission that Charter would be able to interfere with rival programming delivered over the Web. Charter told the state agency “there is no reason to be concerned” because the company views third-party services as keys to growth in demand for broadband service it sells.

Read more here.

Calif. ALJ Recommends Approving Charter/TWC

Originally appeared in Multichannel News
By: John Eggerton
April 12, 2016

A California administrative law judge (ALJ) has recommended that the states Public Utilities Commission approve the Charter-Time Warner Cable/Brighthouse deal, with a bunch of conditions on the operation of their respective systems in the state.

The PUC still has to vote — the decision is likened to an FCC order that must be voted to be approved — and the decision has no legal effect by itself, but Judge Karl Bemesderfer’s decision was another hurdle cleared for the deal.

The next opportunity for the PUC to vote will be its May 12 meeting.
Read more here.