Charter Faces Opposition in Time Warner Merger

By Tom Allen
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The merger of Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Charter Communications in the USA (Time Warner Acquired by Charter Communications) has been the target of complaints from public interest groups and competitors.

Opponents lodged their arguments with the Federal Communications Commission’s comments process. They warned that the deal would enable a monopoly that could be used to force competitors out of the video market. Charter will have so much control over the US broadband market that it could damage OTT service providers.

Jeff Blum, SVP at Dish, said, “All the exciting things are happening with over-the-top… that’s a positive thing for consumers and for innovation, but it’s a threat to Charter and Time Warner because they want people buying their bundle of broadband and video, so the development and growth of over-the-top is something that competes with them and they have an incentive to sabotage over-the-top… Unfortunately, they have the means to”.

Charter denies that the merger would be damaging to streaming video providers. Alex Dudley, SVP of communications, said that the company’s service would be “a boon” for streaming video, due to the lack of data caps and contracts, and the fact that it does not slow traffic.

Opponents have pointed out similarities between the deal and the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner, which was shut down in May due to monopoly concerns (Comcast Abandons Time Warner Bid).

Charter has until the 2nd November to officially respond to its detractors.