Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) said its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) has been approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, removing one more regulatory hurdle in Charter's quest to become the nation's second biggest cable company.
In exchange for the New Jersey state agency's blessings, Charter agreed to beef up its customer service, committing to spend around $750,000 on improvements. Charter also said it would maintain protection of open Internet standards and not mandate any data caps for at least three years.
"The Board is satisfied that its approval of this merger will afford customers with improved customer service and access to increased broadband speeds," New Jersey Board of Public Utilities president Richard Mroz said in a statement. "In addition, we are happy that as a result of the merger the company will establish a low-income broadband program for households with school-age children and seniors, while also protecting current Time Warner Cable employees and maintaining its local office."
In its simultaneous quests to acquire both TWC and Florida-situated Bright House Networks, Charter must still clear the FCC and Justice Department, as well as the California Public Utilities Commission.
"We are grateful to the Board of Public Utilities and its staff, as well as the State of New Jersey Division of the Rate Counsel for their hard work during this important review process," said Adam Falk, senior VP of state government affairs for Charter. "The New Jersey BPU approval is another important step towards closing our transactions."
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