This approval has been hanging on the balance for over a year. In that period, it attracted opposition including from Republican commissioners. But, FCC lastly made a decision on the matter communicated on May 6 through a press release.
“The Commission yesterday approved — with conditions — the Application filed by Charter Communications, Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc., and Advance/Newhouse Partnership approval to transfer control of certain licenses and authorizations from Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks to Charter Communications,” the statement read.
“An Order detailing the Commission’s reasoning and the conditions will be issued in the coming days.” The approval literally makes Charter the biggest rival to Comcast Cable. With 6.8 million customers from Charter, 16.1 million from TWC and 2.5 million from Brighthouse coming together, it will make the service provider a force to reckon with in the local industry.
One of the tough conditions set by FCC before the approval came through was that Charter must offer good market competition. The commission is very much wary of the company enjoying market monopoly which can end up spoiling the American industry. Furthermore, FCC went on to prohibit Charter and its new partners from introducing data caps as well as overage fees on Internet services to their customers.
They will also not be allowed to charge large online content providers in regards to network interconnection or stifle growth of online video through introducing deterring clauses in contracts. Even though consumer advocacy groups have been vocal in opposing the merger, Public Knowledge has welcomed the approval saying conditions outlined by FCC will ensure they stick to the rules of the game.
“As part of the merger review process, Charter has agreed to a number of commitments that, if properly enforced, counter some of the worst harms associated with industry consolidation, and advance the public interest,” they said in a statement.