NY moves to break up Charter’s merger with Time Warner Cable

Posted July 28, 2018

The New York State Public Service Commission said on Friday it revoked its approval of the 2016 merger agreement between Charter Communications Inc (CHTR.O) and Time Warner Cable, saying Charter failed to build out its network for enough homes and that the company must end its operations in the state.

"Charter's repeated failures to serve New Yorkers and honor its commitments are well documented and are only getting worse", PSC Chair John Rhodes said".

Back in March, we brought you word that Charter was skating on thin icewith the State of NY for allegedly lying about Spectrum broadband deployments, and not living up to its promises to expand rural broadband as part of its 2016 merger with Time Warner Cable.

The 3-0 vote reflected the commission's displeasure with Charter - which provides cable TV, internet and phone service in NY state under the Spectrum name - for falling short of required broadband internet expansion in the state, especially in rural areas.

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The state is also seeking up to $3 million in penalties.

The ruling shouldn't affect cable service to the company's NY customers.

As a result of today's vote, "Charter is ordered to file within 60 days a plan with the Commission to ensure an orderly transition to a successor provider (s)", the PSC's announcement said.

"Our 11,000 diverse and locally based workers, who serve millions of customers in the state every day, remain focused on delivering faster and better broadband to more New Yorkers, as we promised", the spokesman said.

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Charter says it has extended broadband service to 86,000 homes and businesses. This means that the company can no longer operate in the state and in essence forfeits future revenue from roughly 2 million subscribers.

Representatives for Charter on Friday in an email said that the commission's action was "politically charged", an apparent reference to an ongoing dispute between Charter and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration over the company's required expansion of high-speed internet access. Mr. Wu previously worked as the NY attorney general's senior enforcement counsel and battled Charter over an investigation into internet speeds. NY will not tolerate Charter's gaslighting its own customers into believing it is meeting its promises.

The commission also approved a lawsuit to seek additional penalties from the company, particularly greater fines.

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