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Coalition formed to oppose Charter-TWC merger

MUMBAI: A group of US companies and parties have come together to form the ‘Stop Mega Cable Coalition’. They are opposing the Charter-TWC merger as it would create a powerhouse, adversely impact competition and harm consumer interests.

This is along the lines of the ‘Stop Mega Comcast’ coalition formed in 2014 to stop the company from acquiring Time Warner Cable. Comcast dropped its bid, fearing it would not get the regulatory clearance.

The ‘Stop Mega Cable Coalition’ includes satellite provider Dish Network and industry groups such as US Telecom and rural broadband group NTCA. It also features public interest groups Public Knowledge, Common Cause and Consumers Union.

The FCC is looking into the proposed merger of Charter with Time Warner Cable.

“Mega Cable, along with Comcast, would control the vast majority — nearly 90 per cent — of broadband homes in America, giving these companies the ability and incentive to coordinate their actions to control the future of the Internet and all of the innovative services that rely on a high-speed broadband connection.

“The Stop Mega Cable Coalition believes that kind of concentrated power risks serious harms. Among other things, a duopoly threatens the future of over-the-top (‘OTT’) streaming services and independent programmers. And, if you thought cable prices and customer service were bad today, just wait until just two cable companies control the vast majority of the nation’s high-speed broadband market,” the group said.