Cablevision Sale Gets Final Regulatory Approval

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Altice founder Patrick Drahi

European cable and telecom company Altice expects to close the $17.7 billion deal to acquire Cablevision later this month, after getting the green light from New York state regulators.

New York state regulators on Thursday approved, with conditions, the planned $17.7 billion acquisition of Cablevision Systems by European cable and telecom company Altice.

The deal is expected to close by midyear. Altice said it was pleased with the approval, according to Reuters.

The takeover, first announced in September, follows Altice's acquisition of a 70 percent stake in Suddenlink, the seventh-largest U.S. cable operator. Outside the U.S., Altice concentrates on Western Europe, including France and Portugal, Israel and the Caribbean.

New York's Public Service Commission unanimously approved the transaction with conditions that had been recommended by a panel. Those conditions included a commitment to pass 25 percent of cost savings from the deal on to customers over five years and not to lay off customer-facing jobs in New York for four years.

The commission's vote was the last hurdle for the deal. Previously, the FCC and New York City gave it the green light. Cablevision has been led by CEO James Dolan. The Dolan family last year agreed to sell the cable company, which operates in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Altice, founded by John Malone protege Patrick Drahi, has said that it could look for further U.S. acquisitions over time, but likely not this year.

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