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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU. Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

Decision Near On Charter-Time Warner Merger

Time Warner Cable

A decision by the Federal Communications Commission on the $55-billion purchase of Time Warner Cable could be coming soon, according to a Multichannel News story citing a Wall Street Journal report.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is "likely to circulate an order" approving the acquisition by St. Louis-based Charter Communications, says Multichannel news.

"Circulating an order" indicates the U.S. Justice Department "did not find any anti-competitive issues that could not be resolved," the report says.

Charter announced plans to buy Time Warner, the nation’s No. 2 cable operator, last May, weeks after Comcast (No. 1) failed to buy Time Warner. As part of the failed Comcast-Time Warner merger announced in 2014, Charter was going to buy the Time Warner systems in Ohio and Kentucky, including Greater Cincinnati, Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

The Free Press, which opposes media consolidation, predicts the Charter-Time Warner deal will result in higher rates for customers.

“When you factor in the debt taken on, Charter is paying $10 billion more for Time Warner Cable than Comcast was willing to pay for the same exact assets just over a year ago. Charter is taking on nearly $27 billion in new debt to finance this deal. It can only recover that by hiking prices for its subscribers,” the Free Press says.