Charter Communications’ proposed takeover of $67 billion for Time Warner Cable as well as Bright House Networks is close in being approved by federal officials who are poised to approve this deal over the upcoming weeks.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Communications Commission must both approve of the consolidation that would make the company the second largest in the country for Internet and cable television provider.
Commissioners at the FCC, including Tom Wheeler the chairman are leaning toward the approval of the transaction but intend to make additions to a host of conditions, according to one person close to the review.
The deal should be given the green light this week according to another person with knowledge of the situation.
One of the conditions of the deal would call for Charter to increase the families that receive the Internet service at high-speed as one way to take steps to close what is now called the digital divide or the gap between the regions and demographics that have access to modern communications technology and information with those that do not.
The FCC has also been planning on requiring Charter to make them assurance it will not use the new clout it will have in the market to thwart streaming services online like Netflix or Hulu, that compete with the core business of Charter of selling bundles of traditional cable television channels.
The Department of Justice has reviewed the deal as well making sure no anti-competitive issues are involved.
Time Warner Cable, Charter and Bright House Networks offer products in different geographic areas, which for the most part do not overlap.
On Tuesday, a national newspaper said an order was being passed around from the FCC chair to other commissioner that would approve the deal for Charter.
This merger comes amidst a wave of consolidation within the industry. Last summer, AT&T the phone giant took control of DirecTV, in a deal worth $49 billion.
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