Common Cause Urges FCC to Reject Charter – Time Warner Cable Deal
- Scott Swenson, Dale Eisman
Amid published reports that the Federal Communications Commission is poised to approve Charter’s monopolistic bid to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, Common Cause urged FCC commissioners Thursday to step back and reject the merger plan.
“Americans need more competition, not more consolidation. The sad history of cable mergers shows that Big Cable getting bigger benefits shareholders but badly disserves the public interest,” said former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Adviser Michael Copps.
“Sure, Charter may paint a rosy picture and may promise a number of public interest concessions, but I’ve been through enough cable mergers to know that those promises are rarely kept,” Copps continued.
The Charter-Time Warner Cable combination would create a new mega cable company that would be second only to Comcast in size. The new firm would have the incentive and ability to coordinate with other cable monopolists to lock out diverse voices on the cable dial, and innovative applications online.
Together with Comcast, post-merger Charter would control the overwhelming majority of the broadband Internet market. New Charter would face no broadband competition in 70% of its service territory.
“The FCC should reject this merger with dispatch, and recommit to Chairman Wheeler’s stated mantra of “competition, competition, competition,’” Copps said.