NYC lobbies against Altice-Cablevision deal at state Public Service Commission

New York City officials said they have "serious concern" over the proposed $17.7 billion takeover of Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) by Europe's Altice NV.

In a filing made with the New York Public Service Commission and obtained by The Wall Street Journal, NYC officials said the merger poses "key public interest questions." 

With Bethpage, N.Y.-based Cablevision serving 3.1 million customers in New York City, local officials are concerned that Altice's pledge to trim $900 million from the MSO's operating budget will result in significant job losses, as well as the inability to execute on promises of high-speed broadband buildout. 

"Altice remains actively engaged in the regulatory process, which is well underway in all regions and proceeding as we anticipated. We look forward to that process continuing in a fair and open manner," Altice said in a statement sent to FierceCable.

NYC officials have proposed a number of conditions. But Altice has taken the position that New York City has no regulatory say in whether the deal is approved. 

The New York Public Service Commission, on the other hand, does have a vote, which it will render late this year.

For its part, Altice has been busy lobbying the state agency. Last week, Charles Stewart, co-president and CFO of Altice U.S., delivered testimony to the agency. 

"As a family enterprise in the best sense, Altice takes a very long-term business perspective with the objective to build the best communications business internationally, which serves its customers with innovative, best-in-class services," Stewart said. "Our focus is to create long-term value as opposed to short term profit generation. A key element of our business model is the continuous re-investment into our businesses, which I will talk about in more detail later. Altice has never sold a business other than for regulatory reasons, a fact that underscores the long-term nature of our business model."

For more:
- read this Wall Street Journal story

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