The Federal Communications Commission agreed with the California Public Utilities Commission today and approved Altice’s purchase of a controlling interest in Suddenlink. Altice is a major European telecoms company and Suddenlink is its first acquisition of a U.S. cable company. Except for provisions regarding law enforcement and spy agency access to Suddenlink’s network, the FCC imposed no conditions on the deal.
Not a big footprint in California.
UPDATE: the day after the CPUC approved the deal, the FCC did likewise, adding a condition requiring Altice to guarantee law enforcement and spy agency access to its network.
Altice has permission to take over control of Suddenlink’s cable systems in California. Without discussion, the California Public Utilities Commission approved the transaction at its meeting on Thursday. According to the decision…
The proposed acquisition occurs entirely at the parent ownership level and the Applicants indicate that the transaction will be “seamless and transparent to consumers in terms of current services, rates, terms and conditions.”17
It’s gotta at least be in the ballpark.
The New York attorney general wants Time Warner, Cablevision and Verizon to explain how they manage they manage the Internet connections that they sell to consumers, and how they do business among themselves and with other telecommunications companies. Letters sent to the three companies point to the disconnect between what’s advertised, what’s sold and what’s actually delivered.
The letter sent to Time Warner Cable is typical (links to the others are below)…
This Office is concerned that, for reasons substantially within TWC’s control, consumers may not be experiencing the speeds advertised.
Would you like pommes frites with that?
Keep prices U.S. high and expenses European low. That’s the plan that Altice has for Suddenlink and Cablevision, if its allowed to buy the two broadband companies. At a New York conference last week, Altice chairman Patrick Drahi said he likes Cablevision’s average monthly revenue per subscriber – $159 – but not its cost structure, which includes hundreds of executives making more than $300,000 a year and ageing infrastructure that’s costly to maintain.… More
How the game is played.
Altice SA announced an agreement to buy Cablevision for $17.7 billion and assumption of existing debt yesterday. That follows Altice’s ongoing bid to buy a controlling stake in Suddenlink. If both deals are approved and Charter is allowed to take over Time Warner and Bright House, then Altice would become the fourth largest cable company in the U.S., and the seventh largest pay TV company overall, with about 4 million subscribers.… More