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The Man Behind Charter’s Deal With TimeWarner Cable for $56 Billion

“The King of Cable”, John Malone, is rumored to be in the process of an acquisition, that would foresee Charter Communications, a publicly owned company fostered by the huge stakes Malone retains in the cable market, overtake the bigger and well renowned TimeWarner cable.

An agreed price of $56.7 billion was reached by the two companies, and along with it will come the dominant status as “One of America’s largest cable and broadband operators,” since both companies together serve an estimated 45 million customers domestically.

It should serve as no surprise that John Malone, a man commonly referred to as “Darth Vader” is the conductor behind this train of a business deal. Malone began working in cable and communications around 1972, at Tele-Communications Inc. near Denver, when cable, “Existed mainly for remote towns beyond the reach of broadcast signals.” The apprentice cable-man quickly gained a reputation as the ‘tough guy’, whose alma mater, Phi Beta Kappa from Yale, kickstarted his career, taking his first job with Bell Labs.

Malone flaunted his unwavering business tactics while working for Tele-Communications, when the city of Vail, Colorado refused to meet the company’s fee demands, and the company ceased broadcasting, instead showing a blank screen with the phone numbers of the mayor and city manager. The city ultimately gave in.

In 1999, Malone sold Tele-Communications Inc. for approximately $32 billion to AT&T, described as the “Darth Vader of the infobahn” a couple years prior in an interview from Wired magazine, where Mr. Malone was quoted saying, “I think there’s no question I have the cable industry tattooed on one of my rear end cheeks, and T.C.I (alluding to Tele-Communications Inc.) on the other. But I don’t think I’ve been ruthless in anything. I don’t think I’ve driven anyone out of business.”


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