FCC approves Altice’s $17.7bn Cablevision deal

The Federal Communications Commission has approved Altice’s US$17.7 billion (€15.7 billion) deal to acquire US cable player Cablevision.

In a memo released yesterday, the US regulator said that the deal is “unlikely to result in any significant public interest harms” and that approving the deal “serves the public interest”.

“We find that the transaction is likely to result in some public interest benefits of increased broadband speeds and more affordable options for low income consumers in Cablevision’s service territory,” said the FCC.

“Although we find that the public interest benefits are limited, the scales tilt in favour of granting the applications because of the absence of harms.”

Netherlands-based Altice agreed last September to pay US$34.90 in cash for each Cablevision share – a premium of about 22% at the time of the announcement.

Since then, Altice closed its acquisition of a 70% stake in US cable operator Suddenlink, also following regulatory approval.

In a statement, Altice said that it is making good progress towards closing the Cablevision during the second quarter.

Altice is a publicly traded company that provides fixed and mobile voice, video, and broadband services through subsidiaries in countries including France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Israel and the Dominican Republic.

Cablevision offers digital TV, internet and voice-over IP services to approximately 3.1 million subscribers in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

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