Altice-Cablevision merger gets nod from NY state regulatory panel

A New York state regulatory panel has recommended that the state's Public Services Commission approve Altice NV's $17.7 billion takeover of Cablevision (NYSE: CVC).

The recommendation sets up a June 16 vote in favor of the deal by the PSC, which rarely votes against opinions put forth by the New York Department of Public Service panel.

According to Bloomberg, the panel is asking the PSC to impose conditions on the deal for Altice to retain "customer-facing jobs" such as call-center reps and service techs for four years.

The panel is also recommending that a quarter of Alice's estimated cost savings from the deal be passed on to customers, and that Altice increase the broadband speeds of low-income Cablevision customers.

With the FCC and Justice Department already signed off on the deal, New York state regulators stand as the final hurdle for Altice. But negotiations with the PSC on conditions haven't come easy. Altice reportedly has limited cash flow, and cuts at Cablevision are an essential part of the takeover model.

Altice has promised investors that it will find $900 million in operational efficiencies within Cablevision in its first three years of ownership.

Last week, the PSC delayed its vote on the deal until June 16.

For more:
- read this Bloomberg story

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