Coalition Forms to Fight Charter/TWC/Bright House
Several trade groups, companies and interest groups have formed a coalition to oppose Charter Communications proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.
Dish Network, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association and U.S. Telecom too, are members of the Stop Mega Cable Coalition.
“As proposed, Mega Cable could undermine new and emerging streaming video services, starve out independent programmers and worsen customer service, all while raising prices. That must not be permitted,” says the group on its website: www.stopmegacable.com/
Should regulators approve the $67B proposed deal, the merged entity and Comcast would control nearly 90% of high-speed broadband homes, according to the group.
“This proposed transaction would create strong incentives for Charter and Comcast to coordinate their treatment of video programmers and broadband video distribution in ways that could damage competition and harm consumers,” said Gene Kimmelman, President and CEO of Public Knowledge, which is a member of the coalition.
The Future of Music Coalition is a member as well.
The group will highlight to the FCC and DOJ in order to merge, the companies will take on $27B in new debt, translating to about $1,142 in debt for each customer that could be reconciled by passing it along to those customers. They also say the merged entity will have the market power to freeze out independent programmers and harm OTT streaming services.