Charter-TWC decision set for split vote by California regulators, opposition group lawyers say

Lawyers representing progressive groups opposing Charter Communications' (NASDAQ: CHTR) takeover of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks say California regulators are split on whether to approve the deals. 

"We're at that point right now where the tipping point could tip one way or another," Paul Goodman of the Greenlining Institute said to Robert Welkos, a former Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times journalist, reporting for the news site CTFN. "I do feel safe in saying I don't think this will be a five-to-zero vote, but I've been surprised before."

The California Public Utilities Commission is set to vote on approving the mergers in May. Groups including the Greenlining Institute are actively seeking concessions in exchange for the deal's approval. 

A Charter Communications rep had no comment for FierceCable

The CPUC's review is being overseen by the same administrative law judge who recommended, with conditions, Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) ultimately scuttled takeover attempt of TWC last year. And any of the lawyers opposing the Charter deal are the same ones who fought against Comcast's failed bid. 

Earlier this month, Charter won a bid to accelerate the PUC's review process. Hearings on the matter occurred last week, and the agency moved up its voting timeline a month from the original scheduled date in June. 

The PUC's decision is viewed as the last hurdle for Charter's deals, with decisions by the FCC and Justice Department scheduled to arrive before it. 

For more:
- read this CTFN post
- read this Seeking Alpha post

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