Charter Communications's cable cowboy adds to his empire

Cable TV group Charter Communications has agreed to buy its rival Time Warner Cable and create the second-biggest cable firm in the US.

Charter Communications, the US cable TV group, has agreed to buy its rival Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $55bn, to create the second-biggest cable firm in the US behind Comcast. Charter is backed by John Malone, a Colorado billionaire known as the "cable cowboy" after he became involved in several big cable deals in the 1970s. His Liberty Broadband will own a fifth of the enlarged company.

What the commentators said

The package "is a classic Malone deal with a fiendishly complex structure aimed at delivering the maximum amount of influence and tax savings". He has ended up with "de facto control" of the number two US high-speed broadband supplier, and the third-biggest provider of cable video services.

The deal signals a shift in the TV industry, said The New York Times. The dealmaking in the sector is due to companies struggling to keep up with how customers watch and pay for TV. As consumers have moved towards streaming videos online, via services such as Netflix, cable providers have sought greater scale to bolster their bargaining power with content providers.

There has also been plenty of action in Europe, noted the Daily Mail's Alex Brummer. Malone's Liberty Global has bought Virgin Media and Sky has hoovered up its German and Italian equivalents. Malone is keen on Vodafone's assets and the new UK government may allow Fox to scoop up the 60% of Sky it has hitherto been prevented from buying. "There is no shortage of media empire builders."

Recommended

There is light at the end of the tunnel for investors
Sponsored

There is light at the end of the tunnel for investors

Investors are gloomy. But it’s not all bad, says Max King – the mood could be about to shift. You just need to hold your nerve for a little while long…
27 Sep 2022
The hidden cost of employee share schemes
Investment strategy

The hidden cost of employee share schemes

Paying employees in shares comes at a cost to investors – but it isn’t always easy to see how much, says Stephen Clapham.
26 Sep 2022
Three top-notch Asian stocks to buy
Share tips

Three top-notch Asian stocks to buy

Professional investors Adrian Lim and Pruksa Iamthongthong, managers of the Asia Dragon Trust, pick three of their favourite Asian stocks to buy now.
23 Sep 2022
Why you should short this satellite broadband company
Trading

Why you should short this satellite broadband company

With an ill-considered business plan, satellite broadband company AST SpaceMobile is doomed to failure, says Matthew Partridge. Here's how to short th…
23 Sep 2022

Most Popular

Beating inflation takes more luck than skill – but are we about to get lucky?
Inflation

Beating inflation takes more luck than skill – but are we about to get lucky?

The US Federal Reserve managed to beat inflation in the 1980s. But much of that was down to pure luck. Thankfully, says Merryn Somerset Webb, the Bank…
26 Sep 2022
The pick of this year's best-performing investment trusts
Investment trusts

The pick of this year's best-performing investment trusts

Market conditions haven’t been easy, but these investment trusts have delivered strong growth, says David Stevenson.
23 Sep 2022
The hidden cost of employee share schemes
Investment strategy

The hidden cost of employee share schemes

Paying employees in shares comes at a cost to investors – but it isn’t always easy to see how much, says Stephen Clapham.
26 Sep 2022