Charter, Bright House still walking down the merger aisle

Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) and the parent company of acquisition target Bright House Networks say a merger remains in their plans, despite the foundering of the Comcast/Time Warner Cable deal that was thought to be a linchpin of the transaction.

Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) and the parent company of acquisition target Bright House Networks say a merger remains in their plans, despite the foundering of the Comcast/Time Warner Cable deal that was thought to be a linchpin of the transaction.

Charter and Bright House parent Advance/Newhouse say they have agreed to extend the good faith negotiating period to consummate the deal for an extra 30 days. The companies say the basic tenets of the proposal, in particular the $10.4 billion price tag, remain in place (see "Charter to buy Bright House Networks").

The two companies agreed to make a deal after Comcast bettered Charter's proposal to acquire Time Warner Cable (see "Time Warner Cable agrees to merge with Comcast"). Interestingly, the Charter/Bright House pairing appeared contingent upon Comcast consummating the acquisition Charter had hoped to make. TWC holds a "right of first offer" to acquire Bright House that it was assumed would remain unused if it were part of Comcast, due to the likelihood that a combination of Comcast, TWC, and Bright House would fail to pass anti-trust muster (a fate which, of course, befell the Comcast/TWC pairing).

How Time Warner Cable would respond to a Charter/Bright House deal remains an open question. Speculation had previously circulated that Charter might make another run at TWC as well (see "All eyes on Charter in wake of Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger failure").

Meanwhile, a tie up of Charter and Bright House would also receive close scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice.

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