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FCC expected to approve Charter-Time Warner merger, with conditions

The approval won't come without a few catches, as chairman Tom Wheeler wants online video to grow.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

The Federal Communications Commission is working on a draft order that will approve Charter Communications $55 billion deal to buy Time Warner Cable, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The draft, which the publication says will be circulated by chairman Tom Wheeler to commissioners as soon as this week, will have a number of conditions to boost online video competition.

Wheeler reportedly wants to due away with Charter's agreements with content companies that prohibit them from offering their shows and movies to online streaming competitors.

The deal was announced in mid-2015, after Comcast failed to buy Time Warner Cable after being denied by the FCC. It will form a parent company called "New Charter" to become the nation's second-largest cable provider.

"We're a very different company than Comcast and this is a very different transaction," Charter CEO Thomas Rutledge said in May.

It's expected the draft order will require Charter to upgrade broadband speeds in homes across the US, as Wheeler is putting streaming first.

California is up next in the regulatory approval process and a decision is expected in May.

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