Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) and Public Knowledge have found themselves in a familiar place, with a familiar name, once again leading a group of labor unions and tech coalitions to oppose the merger of large cable companies.
Indeed, just 13 months after spearheading the launch of Stop Mega Comcast, many of the same companies and groups have returned to announce Stop Mega Cable, a coalition intended to stop the federal government from approving Charter Communications' (NASDAQ: CHTR) purchase of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks.
"Once again we are faced with a proposed cable merger that threatens the emergence of robust competition for streaming services," said Gene Kimmelman, president and CEO of Public Knowledge. "This merger, as proposed, would create a cable giant that, alongside Comcast, would control the overwhelming majority of high-speed broadband homes in this country, most of which have very few competitive options. This proposed transaction would create strong incentives for Charter and Comcast to coordinate their treatment of video programmers and broadband video distribution in ways that could damage competition and harm consumers."
Dish and Public Knowledge are part of 17 entities that form the group. Other participants that were also part of Stop Mega Comcast include the Writers Guild of America, the Sports Fans Coalition and NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association.
While plenty of coalitions and individual groups and companies contributed to the decisions by the FCC and Department of Justice not to sign off on Comcast's proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable last year, Stop Mega Comcast was certainly a significant focal point for anti-merger noise.
Charter responded with this statement: "Charter is a different type of cable company—committed to creating American jobs, offering the most innovative products, delivering fast internet speeds, preserving an open internet and advancing online video friendly policies including no data caps and no modem fees.
"It should come as no surprise that Dish and other parties seeking to use the regulatory review process to extract concessions are also engaging in tired PR tactics to further their self-interests," Charter added. "Their arguments against the pending transactions are baseless."
- read this Stop Mega Cable press release
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