PSC rescinds Charter merger approval

PSC rescinds Charter merger approval

PSC rescinds Charter merger approval

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

Spectrum reportedly failed to meet deadlines, attempted to skirt obligations to serve rural communities and used unsafe practices in the field.

The state is also seeking $3 million in penalties from Charter, officials said. One solution could see Charter spinning off its NY division; it's also possible that the division could be sold to someone else.

The commission said the US broadband provider failed to live up to its agreement as part of the merger to build internet access to an additional 145,000 households and businesses in rural areas of NY under-served by internet providers.

The cable company, which was formed when Charter and Time Warner Cable merged in 2016, hadn't extended service to 145,000 homes and businesses in the state that are in unserved or underserved areas in NY, according to a ruling from the state's Public Service Commission. They may face more penalties in the state Supreme Court.

On Jan. 8, 2016, the Commission approved Charter's acquisition of Time Warner.

Charter's headquarters is in Stamford.

That pledge was one of the "most critical" conditions attached to the merger approval, the commission argued in an order posted online Friday.

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, who is running for Congress this fall, has pushed for Charter/Spectrum to live up to the promises the company made when it took over Time Warner Cable.

Since the merger, the PSC said Charter has repeatedly failed to meet its commitments to the State, including its obligation to timely extend its high-speed broadband network to 145,000 unserved and underserved homes and businesses in less densely populated areas of the State. But the fact is that Spectrum has extended the reach of our advanced broadband network to more than 86,000 NY homes and businesses since our merger agreement with the (commission).

Charter also must pay the commission another $1 million in fines, on top of $2 million already paid.

In a statement, Charter spokesman Andrew Russell accused the commission's actions of being politically motivated.

"In the weeks leading up to an election, rhetoric often becomes politically charged", spokeswoman Shelley Loo told The Post.

Charter has 30 days to contest the order, and the company said it plans to fight the decision.

Charter Communications is the largest broadband communications company and second-largest cable operator in the nation.

Related news