FCC Clears Altice Acquisition of Suddenlink

The Federal Communications Commission has found the acquisition of Suddenlink by Altice “in the public interest,” clearing the way for transaction approval, assuming there is no objection by antitrust authorities.

Altice is a holding company incorporated in the Netherlands, providing fixed and mobile voice, video, and broadband services in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Israel, the French Caribbean and Indian Ocean regions, and the Dominican Republic. Altice serves approximately 34.5 million subscribers worldwide.

The Suddenlink transaction represents the first major entry into the U.S. cable TV market by an international operator. Japan’s Softbank already is among the top four U.S. mobile operators, as is Germany’s T-Mobile US (although T-Mobile is expected to sell those assets and exit the U.S. market, eventually).

Suddenlink is the seventh largest cable operator in the United States, providing broadband Internet access, cable television, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and certain competitive telecommunications services to more than 1.5 million customers in 17 states.

almost half of its current existing network serves rural areas, and approximately 85 percent of Suddenlink’s nearly 900 cable franchises have fewer than 2,000 customer homes per franchise.

Suddenlink offers a high speed data product to more than 97.5 percent of its homes passed on a nationwide basis: 80 percent of these homes have speeds of 150 Mbps or faster, and another 10 percent have access to speeds of at least 50 Mbps.

Suddenlink also is in the midst of a program to upgrade most locations to gigabit speed Internet access.
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