Charter Communications purchased Time Warner Cable in a deal estimated at $78 billion, and today the US Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission gave the acquisition the green light. The companies agreed to the deal in May 2015, when it was estimated at $55 billion. The approval comes with a few caveats: The DoJ says Charter is not allowed to impede access to streaming content, for one. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler says Charter will not be allowed to impose data caps or charge usage-based prices, nor will it be able to charge interconnection fees.
“All three seven-year conditions will help consumers by benefitting [online video provider] competition,” Wheeler says. “The cumulative impact of these conditions will be to provide additional protection for new forms of video programming services offered over the Internet.”
Charter has been hunting Time Warner Cable since early 2014. Today’s approval also covers Charter’s purchase of Bright House Networks, a deal valued at $10.4 billion.