James "Jim" Dolan, president and chief executive officer of Cablevision Systems Corp., speaks at INTX: The Internet & Television Expo in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. The event, formerly known as the The Cable Show, has been the reimagined for doing business in the digital economy by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA). Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Jim Dolan
James Dolan, president and chief executive officer of Cablevision. Photograph by Daniel Acker — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Cablevision Sale Clears Last Regulatory Hurdle

Jun 15, 2016

(Reuters) - New York state regulators on Wednesday approved European telecom group Altice's acquisition of Cablevision, a $17.7 billion deal that would create the fourth-largest U.S. cable provider.

The unanimous approval by the New York State Public Service Commission with conditions means the Dutch company has cleared the final regulatory hurdle to complete the transaction announced in September.

Altice said it was pleased with the approval and expects to close the deal by the end of the month. Cablevision (cvc) has 3.1 million subscribers, mostly in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Last month, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission approved the Altice acquisition of Cablevision, saying it was in the "public interest" and noted Altice had vowed to invest to upgrade Cablevision broadband.

New York regulators agreed to approve the deal if Altice agreed to pass 25% of the estimated $450 million in cost savings from the deal to subscribers over five years. The company is barred from laying off workers for four years in any customer-facing jobs in New York.

The sale includes other Cablevision assets including the News 12 programming networks; Newsday, a Long Island daily newspaper; amNewYork, a free daily serving New York City; and Star Community Publishing, a publisher of weekly shoppers and community papers on Long Island.

This is Altice's second U.S. acquisition. In December, the FCC approved Altice's $9.1 billion acquisition of U.S. regional cable company Suddenlink Communications, the seventh largest U.S. cable company, with about 1.5 million customers.

Altice founder Patrick Drahi, the French-Israeli billionaire who built a telecoms and cable empire via debt-fueled acquisitions in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal and Israel, said last year that Altice would look for more acquisitions.

In talks that began in June 2015, Drahi convinced Charles Dolan, patriarch of the Irish-American family that owns Cablevision, to sell.

For more about cable, watch:

The Dolans will continue to own media and sports assets through AMC Networks and the Madison Square Garden, owner of the National Hockey League's New York Rangers and the National Basketball Association's New York Knicks, which are not part of the deal.

The approval follows the completion of another major cable tie-up last month.

In May, Charter Communications (chtr) completed its $67 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, creating the second-largest U.S. broadband provider and third-largest pay TV provider.

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/html/tandc/indexestandcs.html. S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions