USTelecom drops out of anti-Charter mergers group Stop Mega Cable Coalition

USTelecom said that it is dropping out of the Stop Mega Cable Coalition, less than a month after formation of the group, which is intended to halt Charter Communication's (NASDAQ: CHTR) takeovers of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks. 

"USTelecom announced today it will no longer participate in a coalition formed to raise concern about the proposed Charter-Time Warner Cable-Bright House merger because the coalition is no longer aligned with USTelecom's policy positions," the association said in a statement. "As outlined in this filing, USTelecom made clear it does not oppose the merger but suggested some common-sense conditions for the Federal Communications Commission to consider as it weighs the impact of the transaction on consumers."

Last month, USTelecom joined 16 other companies and groups, including Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) and Public Knowledge, in the formation of the coalition.

"We appreciate the role that USTelecom played in launching this effort and, more importantly, appreciate its persuasive FCC filing outlining some of the harms of this merger," the group said in a statement. "Stop Mega Cable remains a large and diverse coalition that will continue to aggressively raise awareness about the enormous threat the Charter-Time Warner Cable merger poses to consumers, innovation and competition."

In its November FCC filing, USTelecom called for conditions that would mitigate what the company felt was over-centralization of broadband assets. 

Separately, former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, blogging on medium.com, called Charter's takeover plans "the scariest cable merger nobody in Washington is talking about."

"Unfortunately, this deal hasn't received nearly as much public attention as the Comcast-Time Warner Cable proposal," Copps said. "The harms it presents are just as serious however — serious enough for lawmakers and regulators to give this outrageous proposal the attention it merits."

For more:
- read this Variety story
- read this Broadcasting & Cable story
- read this medium.com post

Related articles:
Comcast and Charter will control 70% of 25 Mbps market with merger: report
Dish, Public Knowledge reprise 'Stop Mega' merger roles, lead coalition to stop Charter-TWC merger

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