Public Service Commission revokes Charter merger agreement with Time Warner Cable

NYS moves to kick Charter Communications out of state

The state outlines Charter failed "repeatedly" to meet scheduled deadlines, failed to uphold commitments made to serve rural communities, and engages in unsafe practices in the field.

On Friday, the state Public Service Commission began the process of revoking its approval for the Charter-Time Warner Cable merger.

Spectrum provides Cable TV, Internet and Voice Over Internet telephone service to much of Orange County and portions of Ulster and Dutchess counties. The state is also seeking $3 million in penalties from Charter, officials said. "Today's actions are meant to address Charter's failings and to ensure NY has a partner interested in the public good, not just lining its pockets". But the company must ensure that cable and internet customers' service is not interrupted during the transition to a new provider, the commission said. The company said its workers "remain focused on delivering faster and better broadband to more New Yorkers, as we promised".

It's rare to see a state try to undo a merger this way and prohibit a company from operating (in its current form) in the state, but NY is clearly unhappy with Charter's actions in the wake of this merger, and displeased enough that they're moving beyond fines to merger revocation. NY is also seeking $3 million dollars in penalties from Charter.

Charter says it has extended broadband service to 86,000 homes and businesses.

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Charter's statement did not say whether it will appeal the PSC decision, or whether it will comply with the PSC's order to sell the former Time Warner Cable system in NY.

Charter spokesman Andrew Russell responded with the following statement: "In the weeks leading up to an election, rhetoric often becomes politically charged". Friday's actions are meant to address Charter's failings and to ensure NY has a partner interested in the public good, not just lining its pockets. In response to the decision by the commission, Charter noted that it had extended its reach to "more than 86,000 NY homes and businesses", which is objectively less than 145,000.

The commission approved the decision unanimously and also voted to bring forward a civil lawsuit against the company.

If you live in NY, what's your take on this decision? We'll see how Charter responds and what actually comes of this, but with more than 2 million subscribers to Charter in NY, it's going to have a major impact on the television and internet landscape there.

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