TWC's $9.7M franchise-fee dispute settlement approved by L.A. City Council

The Los Angeles City Council has approved a settlement with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), ending a two-year-old dispute over franchise fees.

In March 2014, the city sued its biggest pay-TV operator, alleging it owed Los Angeles $9.7 million in unpaid franchise fees.

In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the city said the cable operator, which generates about $500 million in annual revenue from its Los Angeles system, owes $7.2 million in fees for 2010 and 2011, and $2.5 million in fees from 2008 and 2009.

Last month, the two sides announced a settlement based on undisclosed terms. 

But some of the specifics leaked out Tuesday, when, according to the Los Angeles Times, the City Council voted 15-0 to reclassify $5.2 million in fees that TWC had paid in protest. The council voted to put the money into the city's general fund. 

"This money will pay for police officers, firefighters, street paving, tree trimming and more," City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement.

City officials said the agreement with TWC, which serves around 1.5 million customers in the L.A. region, frees up as much as $50 million over the next 15 years to be deposited into the city's general fund.

For its part, TWC released this statement: "The matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties."

For more:
- read this Los Angeles Times story

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