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Charter in last lap of acquiring Time Warner Cable

MUMBAI: Charter Communications is in the last lap of inking a deal to acquire Time Warner cable for $55 billion.

This would place Charter in second place, after Comcast. Facing opposition from the regulators, Comcast recently withdrew its acquisition bid for Time Warner Cable.

Charter plans to announce a three-way proposal for a $55 billion deal for its larger rival and an approximately $10 billion takeover of a smaller competitor, Bright House Networks.

Together with Bright House, Charter will have 18.8 million broadband Internet subscribers and about 17 million TV subscribers. This will give the combined company more leverage while negotiating with channel owners like Disney and while competing with new powerhouses like Netflix, state reports.

However, Charter-Time Warner Cable- Bright House merger will have to go through the same government regulators who thwarted the attempt by Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable.

The deal will bring back cable pioneer John Malone in the reckoning as one of the top players in the US in a sector which is in the midst of consolidation. He had evinced interest in buying Time Warner Cable but was reduced to a spectator as Comcast and Time Warner Cable announced their intention to marry.

Charter currently has 4.1 million cable subscribers and 4.9 million broadband subscribers. Its separate merger with Bright House will become a part of the planned three-way deal. Bright House has about 2 million cable subscribers.