FCC approves Altice-Cablevision tie-up | Cable | News | Rapid TV News
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The FCC has approved Altice's purchase of Cablevision Systems on delegated authority, with no commissioner vote required.

mergerEuropean telecoms giant Altice is making a play for US significance with the acquisition of the No 4 cable MSO in the United States, which was first announced in September 2015. The acquisition also includes Cablevision's enterprise-focused business unit Lightpath, local television news network News 12 Networks and publishing outfit Newsday Media Group, as well as Cablevision's advertising sales division.

The Cablevision network passes more than five million homes, and serves 3.1 million homes and businesses with video, data or telephone. About 65% of customers subscribe to triple-play services.

The news follows an agreement by the Dutch company to acquire a 70% interest in US cable firm Suddenlink Communications in a deal valued at $9.1 billion. Suddenlink has around 1.5 million customers in about a dozen states, including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona. According to Suddenlink chairman and CEO Jerry Kent, the deals will form the kernel of a new cable force in the American market that will grow by acquisition.

“We are ... highly committed to continue to improve network investment, customer offers and service innovation in the attractive US market,” said Altice CEO Dexter Goei. "Our investment ... opens an attractive industrial and strategic avenue for Altice in the US, one of the largest and fastest growing communications markets in the world.”

The news comes shortly after the approval of the Charter-Time Warner Cable-Bright House Networks mega-merger — a much more hotly contested deal that will pave the way for further rejigging of the US cable landscape.