BUSINESS

Feds OK Charter And Time Warner Mega Merger

The deal, which still needs FCC approval, would create the second-largest broadband provider.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department on Monday approved Charter Communications Inc's <CHTR.O> proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc <TWC.N> and Bright House networks, which would create the second-largest broadband provider and third-largest video-provider.

Following the deal, the merged company will be called New Charter. Under terms, New Charter agreed to refrain from telling its content providers that they cannot also sell shows online, the Justice Department said in a statement.

The Justice Department wanted to ensure that cable companies do not stop video from moving online.

The Justice Department valued the purchase of Time Warner Cable at $78 billion and Bright House at $10.4 billion.

The deal must also be approved by the Federal Communications Commission. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said Monday he circulated an order seeking approval of the merger with conditions that "will directly benefit consumers by bringing and protecting competition to the video marketplace and increasing broadband deployment."

Shareholders of both companies have approved the deal. Charter needs approval from just one more state, California.

The deal was announced last year after Comcast withdrew its $45 billion offer for Time Warner Cable in April because of opposition from regulators.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz, David Shepardson and Malathi Nayak; Editing by Chris Reese and Bernard Orr)

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