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November 16, 2015

Multiple Proposed Conditions Submitted in Charter/TWC/BHN

  Communications Daily

From breaking out the cost of renting a cable modem on customers' bills to making any conditions indefinite, opponents of Charter Communications buying Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable put multiple proposed conditions before the FCC by the Thursday deadline for replies or responses to opposition. Parties argued in comments posted Friday in docket 15-149 for conditions to govern New Charter activities if the $89.1 billion pair of deals were to go through. Multiple Charter/TWC/BHN filings urged outright, unconditional opposition, often pointing to possible injury to online video distribution (OVD). "The single biggest barrier to providing video services is obtaining access to reasonably priced programming, followed by competing with other providers," NTCA said in its filing. "This merger will exacerbate both of these significant competitive issues."

A bigger Charter means a tougher competitive market for smaller multichannel video programing distributors (MVPDs), said the American Cable Association and ITTA. 

...But free-market-oriented Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) said Charter/TWC/BHN should go ahead "with the addition of conditions and concessions." Given the heavy competition in the video marketplace, IPI said, "fears that a post-merger Charter will wield overwhelming market power such that it will be able to quash such competition seems more based in Progressive Era general distrust of corporations than any informed understanding of the current video marketplace and the obvious current trends."

This is an excerpt of the original article posted online at Communications Daily's website. 


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