Charter said to be nearing $55B deal to buy Time Warner Cable

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2015
Charter Communications is on the verge of buying out rival Time Warner Cable in a cash-and-stock deal worth approximately $55.1 billion, a report said on Monday.




The two companies are in advanced talks for the takeover which would value Time Warner Cable at $195 per share, according to Bloomberg sources. Charter, meanwhile, is reportedly ready to offer $100 per share in cash, and the remainder of the purchase price in stock.

A deal could be announced as soon as Tuesday. In the process Charter would roll smaller provider Bright House Networks --?which Charter has been trying to buy for months -- into the new entity, a claim echoed by the Wall Street Journal. Bloomberg indicated that the Bright House purchase could be worth $10.4 billion.

An entity resulting from the mergers would have some 23 million customers, placing it second only to Comcast in terms of U.S. cable giants. On its own Charter has 5.9 million residential customers.

The company first tried to buy TWC in 2013, even attempting a hostile takeover. Comcast then made a move of its own, but backtracked when regulators indicated they would block a merger. There was widespread concern the deal would give Comcast too much control of the U.S. media landscape, and people like Minnesota Sen. Al Franken pointed to Comcast's poor business practices, such as favoring its own CNBC business network over Bloomberg.

Sources tell the Journal that Charter is taking a gentler approach to negotiations this time around. John Malone, the owner of Charter backer Liberty Broadband, is said to have called TWC CEO Rob Marcus early on in order to suggest a friendly deal. Charter executives also allegedly avoided a lowball bid that might've been easily rejected.

TWC has also been the target of a European telecoms group, Altice SA -- Altice backer Patrick Drahi was said to have met with Marcus on May 20. The same week, Altice announced plans to buy 70 percent of another American cable operator, Suddenlink.

Bloomberg sources claimed that Liberty Broadband is planning to buy $5 billion in new Charter stock to help pay for the deal. Another alleged part of the arrangement is a $2 billion "breakup" fee, which could compensate if Altice wins out or government regulators decide the acquisition raises antitrust concerns.

Although there has been growing resistance to consolidated media power from the public and even the U.S. government, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler reportedly called Marcus and Charter CEO Tom Rutledge in recent times to assure them them that a merger would be judged on merit and not automatically banned just because cable providers were involved.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    gregqgregq Posts: 62member
    Thinking about this as a TWC customer (no choice in my area), aren't Charter as bad as Comcast?
  • Reply 2 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,477member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gregq View Post



    Thinking about this as a TWC customer (no choice in my area), aren't Charter as bad as Comcast?



    Oh get off it. No matter who the carrier is somebody is going to claim they are crap. From AT&T to Verizon to Sprint to T-Mobile to Charter to TWC to AOL to whoever they are all crap in somebody’s eyes. So to answer your question, yes, Charter is just as bad as everyone else since they are all crap according to the malcontents of this world.

  • Reply 3 of 18
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,899member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gregq View Post



    Thinking about this as a TWC customer (no choice in my area), aren't Charter as bad as Comcast?



    Speaking as a customer of both, there is no comparison. Comcast is dreadful and Charter is decent. At least that's been my experience for many years.

  • Reply 4 of 18
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    FYI to the writers here: the word "alleged" means "accused," typically of some kind of wrong-doing. It is not a synonym for "rumored" or "suggested."
  • Reply 5 of 18
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     



    Oh get off it. No matter who the carrier is somebody is going to claim they are crap. From AT&T to Verizon to Sprint to T-Mobile to Charter to TWC to AOL to whoever they are all crap in somebody’s eyes. So to answer your question, yes, Charter is just as bad as everyone else since they are all crap according to the malcontents of this world.


     

    People hate them because it's difficult to deal with service providers of that size. Many of these companies bought out local and regional carriers over time. If you call due to service problems, there are times where even in a major metropolitan area, you may be put through to a national help desk. Frequently there's little they can do over the phone, because there are so many different municipalities with differing infrastructure and supported equipment. It seems worse after consolidation, because they often continue to neglect certain things due to cost.

  • Reply 6 of 18
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,899member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post

     

    People hate them because it's difficult to deal with service providers of that size. Many of these companies bought out local and regional carriers over time. If you call due to service problems, there are times where even in a major metropolitan area, you may be put through to a national help desk. Frequently there's little they can do over the phone, because there are so many different municipalities with differing infrastructure and supported equipment. It seems worse after consolidation, because they often continue to neglect certain things due to cost.


    Often the wait lines at Comcast customer service centers are also ridiculously long. Basically the company hasn't invested to develop a modern support infrastructure.

  • Reply 7 of 18
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,833member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     



    Oh get off it. No matter who the carrier is somebody is going to claim they are crap. From AT&T to Verizon to Sprint to T-Mobile to Charter to TWC to AOL to whoever they are all crap in somebody’s eyes. So to answer your question, yes, Charter is just as bad as everyone else since they are all crap according to the malcontents of this world.




    Here's a chill pill for you.

     

    When judging a company, there's many different facets. Technical reliability? Response time to installations and repair requests? Quality of customer service?

     

    Here in BC, Canada, TELUS is despised for having terrible phone support because they farm out to India, etc. But their technical service is usually just fine. I have used an ADSL reseller of TELUS for years without any problems, and enjoyed good customer support by dealing directly with the reseller, not with TELUS.

     

    Shaw Cable is the main TELUS competitor, and Shaw won over hearts by having great local customer service agents and no contracts. Plus, very attractive sign-up offers. But once the honeymoon period is over, Shaw is just as expensive as the rest when it's all said and done.

     

    One must look at the different facets and judge each based on its pros and cons. Is having local customer service agents important to you? Is high speed important to you? Is having an enormous data quota important to you? I think each company can be "good" or "bad" based these different characteristics.

  • Reply 8 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,477member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

     



    Here's a chill pill for you.

     

    When judging a company, there's many different facets. Technical reliability? Response time to installations and repair requests? Quality of customer service?

     

    Here in BC, Canada, TELUS is despised for having terrible phone support because they farm out to India, etc. But their technical service is usually just fine. I have used an ADSL reseller of TELUS for years without any problems, and enjoyed good customer support by dealing directly with the reseller, not with TELUS.

     

    Shaw Cable is the main TELUS competitor, and Shaw won over hearts by having great local customer service agents and no contracts. Plus, very attractive sign-up offers. But once the honeymoon period is over, Shaw is just as expensive as the rest when it's all said and done.

     

    One must look at the different facets and judge each based on its pros and cons. Is having local customer service agents important to you? Is high speed important to you? Is having an enormous data quota important to you? I think each company can be "good" or "bad" based these different characteristics.




    Baloney, nonsense, poppycock. It’s just your personal opinion and nothing more. Stating that TELLUS is ‘despised’ and Shaw ‘won over hearts’ doesn’t even make sense. You even admit that people judge differently and that’s my point. Whenever a company is mentioned in an article like this the negative comments come crawling out of the woodwork. And they are worthless, WORTHLESS! It’s exactly the same on support forums like, say, the Apple Discussion forums. People don’t post to those forums to say they are happy with Apple, they post because they have a problem or are unhappy with Apple. If one takes those comments as the one true gospel regarding Apple products then one would think that nothing Apple makes works at all. 

  • Reply 9 of 18
    The only thing about this deal that sucks is that some of the benefits that twc customers get presently will probably be nixed with the merger/buyout.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,383member
    hmm wrote: »
    People hate them because it's difficult to deal with service providers of that size. Many of these companies bought out local and regional carriers over time. If you call due to service problems, there are times where even in a major metropolitan area, you may be put through to a national help desk. Frequently there's little they can do over the phone, because there are so many different municipalities with differing infrastructure and supported equipment. It seems worse after consolidation, because they often continue to neglect certain things due to cost.

    Or you can go in person, take a number and experience what living in Russia ( the U.S.S.R) in the 1960's must have been like.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,228member
    coolfactor wrote: »
    TELUS is despised for having terrible phone support because they farm out to India, etc.

    I increasingly miss the India tech service. With the move towards 'insourcing' (in the U.S.), I am finding that telephone-based service has become awful for the most part. Most of the time, I am dealing with weird, thick American accents that I can barely understand.

    That said, Apple's customer service is a significant exception.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    zeus423zeus423 Posts: 122member

    I've been a TWC customer on two different occasions--once for cable and internet, and now just for internet. As for service and reliability, they've been pretty darn good on both counts. They are, however, just like all the rest when it comes to raising your bill every single year. At least with TWC, there isn't a data cap.



    In the interim, I had AT&T Uverse, and it had plenty of problems. The 7th tech finally told us we should have never been offered Uverse because we live too far from their drop.

     

    Does anyone know if Charter has data caps on their broadband service?

  • Reply 13 of 18
    There are no data caps that are enforced generally speaking.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    Or you can go in person, take a number and experience what living in Russia ( the U.S.S.R) in the 1960's must have been like.



    That is kind of funny. My main issue with them was consistency and changing service appointments. I had a billing issue with them once when moving and cancelling service. They kept billing me, and I could not get a consistent response. You end up with a lot of partly independent local branches with consistent branding, yet only partial unification at the regional or national level. It just makes for an inherently bad experience. I'm not actually sure how it looks from the perspective of their shareholders.

  • Reply 15 of 18
    roakeroake Posts: 765member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    gregq wrote: »
    Thinking about this as a TWC customer (no choice in my area), aren't Charter as bad as Comcast?


    Oh get off it. No matter who the carrier is somebody is going to claim they are crap. From AT&T to Verizon to Sprint to T-Mobile to Charter to TWC to AOL to whoever they are all crap in somebody’s eyes. So to answer your question, yes, Charter is just as bad as everyone else since they are all crap according to the malcontents of this world.

    Ikrupp is crap!

    Roake (malcontent)
  • Reply 16 of 18
    roakeroake Posts: 765member
    What, by the way, is the connect to Apple?

    Did I miss it?
  • Reply 17 of 18
    yuck9yuck9 Posts: 112member

    Now watch your bill skyrocket.

     

    Every year my cable internet goes up by 10.00 a month. Was paying 29.99 a month when 1st signed up.

    Year later, goes to 39.99 a month. My year just ended last month. New bill now shows 49.99 a month. Being there is no contract

    and it's month to month, you can bet it will go higher once this goes thru. 

     

    The end user will suffer from this. You will pay more, get less, and longer wait times to get a repair truck when needed.

    They will cut service to save money. When I had a problem a few times in the past, I went and drove to there office in person.

    The front desk guy asked why I came in person I told him I rather come here then deal with there India outsourced tech support which is going to tell me to power cycle my modem, jump thru hoops, etc. Much faster to drive here then deal with all the useless scripts that they themself don't even understand.

     

    Problem here in my town is it's Charter or AT&T which there fastest connection is 9 down on a good day.

  • Reply 18 of 18
    conrailconrail Posts: 489member

    So, they're going to spend $55 billion in order to buy another company, which accomplishes little other than lining the pockets of a select few and eliminating a large number of administrative/middle management jobs that will become redundant.  Or they could spend far less than $55 billion to run fiber to every single Charter customer, greatly improving their performance across the board, modernizing their entire system, and insuring long term customer satisfaction.  Must be nice to be the only game in town.

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