WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – Charter Communications Inc. can complete its $78 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) and its related $10.4 billion acquisition of Bright House Networks LLC (BHN) from Advance/Newhouse Partnership after a deal with the Department of Justice.
Under the terms of the settlement, the merged company – New Charter – cannot enter deals that would make it harder for online video distributors (OVDs) to purchase rights for video content from programmers.
“Online video distributors offer consumers greater choices for video services,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Renata B. Hesse, head of the Antitrust Division said. “This merger would have threatened competition by increasing the merged company’s leverage to demand that programmers limit their licensing to these online providers. Together with our counterparts at the FCC, we have secured comprehensive relief and we will work together to closely monitor compliance to ensure that New Charter will not have the power to choke off this important source of disruptive competition and deny consumers the benefits of innovation and new services.”
New Charter would be the second-largest cable company and third-largest multi-channel video-programming distributor (MPVD) in the country. The department’s complaint alleges that TWC has been one of the most aggressive cable companies in creating contracts with programmers that disallow provision of content to OVDs.