After being usurped by Comcast to acquire all of Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications managed to save face by inking a deal to buy and swap some cable systems with Comcast in a complex, three-step, roughly $20 billion deal. As a result, Charter, whose biggest shareholder is cable industry pioneer John Malone, will become the second-largest cable distributor in the country, trailing only the combined Comcast-Time Warner Cable.

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Rick Wilking / Reuters

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