Altice finally closing on Cablevision after NY regulatory approval

Dutch telecom conglomerate Altice has cleared the final regulatory hurdle for its $17.7 billion purchase of Cablevision.

The New York Public Service Commission voted unanimously to approve the deal. Altice will be required to pass on to customers 25 percent of its estimated $450 million in operational cost savings for Cablevision over the next five years. 

Altice is also restricted from conducting layoffs of customer-facing New York staff at Cablevision for four years. 

Altice also pledged to make network infrastructure improvements for Cablevision. The conglomerate said it will triple the average speed of the network to 300 Mbps by 2017, as well as participate in federal broadband affordability programs. 

All told, New York state officials said the deal will net New York consumers around $243 million in benefits.

"Absent acceptance of these enforceable commitments and conditions," the New York PSC said in its approval order Wednesday, "the public interest standard cannot be met."

Altice is reportedly pleased with the outcome and expects the deal to close by the end of this month. 

Cablevision serves 3.1 million customers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. 

In acquiring Cablevision, Altice also bought 12 programming networks, and several daily and weekly newspapers, including Long Island's Newsday.

For more:
- read this Reuters story
- read this Wall Street Journal story

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