OTI Urges FCC to Closely Scrutinize Charter Merger

Acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks Threatens Consumers, Small Businesses, and the Open Internet

WASHINGTON, DC — Yesterday the Open Technology Institute at New America filed comments urging the FCC to closely scrutinize the proposed merger of Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks — a transaction that creates a major new player whose market dominance would be rivaled only by Comcast. OTI called on the FCC to examine whether the merger would foster an oligopoly in the pay TV and broadband markets. OTI also urged Charter to clarify and improve its proposed public interest commitments.

The following quote can be attributed to Joshua Stager, Policy Counsel at the Open Technology Institute:

While Charter's proposal improves upon Comcast's failed bid to acquire Time Warner Cable, that alone does not warrant approval of this merger. New Charter must be more than just marginally better than Comcast. At a minimum, Charter must demonstrate that the transaction would protect consumers, small businesses, and the Open Internet. Any merger that fails to meet this threshold should be rejected.

We are particularly concerned about the merger's effect on the broadband market, where consumers already endure limited choice and high prices. Charter must do more to ensure that consumers and online innovators are shielded from anticompetitive practices, congested networks, and unaffordable service. We look forward to working with the Commission and the applicants as the review of this merger proceeds."

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