The Justice Department's approval carried conditions designed to protect competition, coming at a time when the pay television industry faces stagnation due to new competition from over-the-web rivals like Netflix Inc and Hulu.
The Justice Department said Charter agreed to refrain from telling its content providers that they cannot also sell shows online as part of the approval process.
The conditions placed on FCC approval would require Charter to extend high-speed internet access to another two million customers within five years, with one million served by a broadband competitor, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said.
Charter, backed by billionaire John Malone's Liberty Media Corp, had pursued Time Warner Cable as far back as 2013.The two companies had acrimonious exchanges in 2013 and early 2014 that ended with Time Warner Cable rejecting unsolicited approaches by Charter and instead finding a white knight in Comcast Corp, the No. 1 U.S. cable services provider, which ultimately abandoned the transaction.
Separately, the FCC on Tuesday approved European telecoms group Altice NV's acquisition of U.S. cable company Cablevision Systems Corp in a $17.7 billion deal that includes assumption of debt. The Dutch firm still needs approval from the state of New York and New York City. If the deal is approved, Altice would become the fourth largest U.S. cable provider. Cablevision has 3.1 million subscribers, mostly in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.