Altice Wins U.S. Clearance to Buy Suddenlink Communications

  • Deal for seventh-largest U.S. provider cleared by FCC
  • Altice leader Drahi moving into U.S. cable market with deals

Altice NV won regulatory clearance Friday to purchase control of Suddenlink Communications, part of billionaire Patrick Drahi’s expansion from Europe into the U.S.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission in a notice on its website said security agencies have no objections to the Suddenlink deal announced in May. Antitrust officials cleared the deal in June.

Altice, based in the Netherlands, also has agreed to buy Cablevision Systems Corp. in a $17.7 billion deal to create the fourth-largest cable provider in the U.S. That transaction remains under U.S. regulatory review.

Approval of the deal marks the entrance into the U.S. market for Altice, which serves about 34.5 million subscribers worldwide, the FCC said. There’s “persuasive evidence” that Altice will bring expertise and resources to maintain and accelerate service offerings for Suddenlink customers, the agency said.

Closely-held Suddenlink is the seventh-largest U.S. cable company, with about 1.5 million residential and commercial customers in more than a dozen states: primarily Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and West Virginia. The deal values Suddenlink at $9.1 billion, Altice said in a statement in May.

Arthur Dreyfuss, a spokesman for Altice, declined to comment.

(A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Altice was closely held.)

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