FCC Stamps Altice-Suddenlink Deal

The FCC has stamped its approval on Altice Group’s proposed $9.1 billion acquisition of Suddenlink Communications.

Altice and Suddenlink announced the deal in May, with Altice agreeing to acquire a 70% interest in the mid-sized, St. Louis-based MSO, which has about 1.5 million subs in about dozen states, including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona. France-based Altice also has a deal in place to acquire Cablevision Systems for $17.7 billion, a move that makes Altice the fourth-largest U.S. cable operator.

“We conclude that granting the Applications serves the public interest,” the FCC said in an order and opinion released Friday. “Based on our careful review of the record, we find the transaction is unlikely to result in any significant public interest harms,” the FCC said in the order.  “We find that the transaction is likely to result in some public interest benefits of increased investment in local networks facilities and broadband services in Suddenlink’s service territory.”

The Department of Justice signed off on the deal Dec. 11.

The approval was not a surprise. There were only a handful of comments on the proposal.

The FCC had put off ruling until DOJ, the FBI and Homeland Security had a chance to do a national security review of the deal given that Altice is a foreign-owned company.

Along with DOJ, the FBI and Homeland Security had signaled they had no issues, either. --John Eggerton Contributed to this report.

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