Charter Comm. completes buy of TWC, Bright House

May 18, 2016, 2:59 PM EDT
(Source: yum9me/flickr)
(Source: yum9me/flickr)

Charter Communications completed its buy of Time Warner Cable and Bright House, now being the second largest cable provider in the U.S.

The Verge reports:

With the three companies combined, Charter now serves over 25 million customers in 41 states. The acquisition ultimately had Charter paying $55 billion for Time Warner Cable and $10.4 billion for Bright House Networks, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Charter claims the acquisition will allow it to improve its broadband network throughout the country, leading to faster speeds and better video products. This is also the beginning of the end for Time Warner Cable. Though the brand still exists today, Charter tells Bloomberg that the name will be phased out. "While Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks customers will not see any immediate change, the company will be called Charter and the products and services will be marketed under the ‘Spectrum’ brand," a representative said. It's a PR move, meant to counter the fact that Time Warner Cable customers don't have a very bright view of Time Warner Cable.

CNN Money notes:

Charter has somewhat higher marks for customer service than Time Warner Cable, though the industry as a whole is not very popular among customers. So Charter is hoping to win new fans in Time Warner Cable markets like L.A. and New York. Public interest advocates have doubts about whether the deal will really help consumers, but a Charter spokesman said it will offer a "superior product set at highly competitive prices." The company is also highlighting the fact that it is bringing "thousands of outsourced jobs back to the United States," as Rutledge said in his internal memo. Overseas Time Warner Cable call centers will be replaced by American workers.

The L.A. Times writes:

Charter becomes the largest pay-TV provider in Southern California with more than 2 million customer homes. The overall value of the cash and stock deal reached about $71 billion -- more than when the transaction was first announced in May 2015 because the value of Time Warner Cable and Bright House shares increased during the past 12 months. Charter now is the nation's second-largest broadband Internet provider, behind Comcast, and the third-largest pay-TV distributor behind AT&T and Comcast.  Charter clinched the deal to buy Time Warner Cable a year ago, after Comcast's bid for Time Warner Cable ran into a regulatory buzzsaw.  Charter had been eyeing the Time Warner Cable assets long before that, and Wednesday's deal close marks the end of a more than two-year dance. Charter is taking on $27 billion in debt to pull off the merger, buying out the shareholders of the larger Time Warner Cable and the smaller Bright House Networks. Charter ended up paying about $60 billion for Time Warner Cable. It also assumes $21 billion in Time Warner Cable debt.  Time Warner had more than 14 million customers. Charter paid about $11.4 billion for Bright House, which serves more than 2 million customers, including in Bakersfield.