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FCC approves Charter acquisition of Time Warner Cable

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The Federal Communications Commission has officially approved Charter's acquisition of Time Warner Cable, according to a statement issued by the FCC. Together, the companies will constitute the second-largest cable company in America, second only to Comcast. The acquisition will still require approval from California regulators before it can be completed, but today's approval means the acquisition has cleared all the necessary federal hurdles.

The proposed deal attached a number of conditions intended to prevent the company from erecting "unfair barriers to video competition," although it may be difficult to enforce those provisions after the acquisition has been finalized. The deal does not include a mandate for a standalone broadband offering, lobbied for by a number of outside advocacy groups. Observers have also raised questions about the quantity of debt raised by Charter for the purchase, which could result in higher rates or less infrastructure investment in the years to come. An official order stating the explicit conditions of the purchase will be issued in the days to come.