Charter Communications announced that it has finally completed its acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.
Charter paid around $60 billion for Time Warner Cable, in addition to assuming $21 billion of the company’s debt, and acquired Bright House for approximately $11.4 billion.
The $71 billion mega merger agreement received its final regulatory approval last week from California’s Public Utilities Commission.
The U.S. Justice Department granted antitrust approval to the merger on April 25 under certain conditions, stating that the deal prevents Charter “from using its leverage over programmers to harm competition.”
Specific conditions include not being able to impose data-usage caps on customers for a number of years and prohibiting Charter from telling content providers that they cannot also sell shows online.
The deal makes Charter the second largest broadband services company in the US and third-largest pay TV provider, serving over 25 million customers in 41 states.
Charter plans on stripping the Time Warner Cable and Bright House’s names and introduce its own branding over the coming months.
“One of our first major initiatives in implementing the Charter Playbook is to streamline our product pricing and packaging and introduce our consumer-facing brand, Spectrum,” Charter CEO Tom Rutledge told employees in an email message. “This will be rolled out in a phased approach beginning this fall.”
“I want to thank the management teams and all of the employees at Charter, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks for their hard work over these past 12 months,” Tom Rutledge said in a statement.
He added: “Despite much distraction, they kept their focus on the customer, and as a result, today we join together three companies, each operating with tremendous momentum. Current Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable customers won’t see many changes right away, though in the coming months they will begin to hear more from us about the Spectrum brand, and the product improvements and consumer friendly policies that come with it.
Charter’s objective is to provide high quality products at great prices, and back it up with excellent customer service, and we intend to continually improve the way we do business in order to be the very best at what we do.”
Charter will be led by Tom Rutledge, who will serve as Chairman of the Board, President and CEO. Charter’s Board of Directors will consist of 13 directors. The remaining 12 directors will include seven independent directors, two directors designated by Advance/Newhouse, and three directors designated by Liberty Broadband.