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Charter says Time Warner Cable merger to close next week after clearing final regulatory hurdle

Charter Communications won approval from California regulators to buy Time Warner Cable and create the nation’s second-largest cable company, Bloomberg reports.  The combined company would have 24 million customers, compared to rival Comcast’s 28 million.

The California deal will require the new company to provide broadband to more customers and offer higher-speed Internet service. Critics, like the advocacy group Free Press, have warned the merger could mean higher prices for customers, with the combined company potentially raising rates to pay off merger-related debt and potentially eliminating cheaper Internet plans even as it offers newer, speedier ones.  

“We look forward to closing these transactions next week,” Charter CEO Tom Rutledge told BloombergSM