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ACA: OK With Charter-TWC Merger Absent Buildout Condition

The American Cable Association says it agrees with New Charter that the combined Charter-Time Warner Cable deal is in the public interest, so long as the FCC cans the broadband buildout condition.

ACA had sought FCC reconsideration of the deal based on its imposition of the condition, which requires Charter to provide high-speed broadband—at least 60 Mbps—to at least a million locations already served by at least 25 Mbps, an expansion of service that will come at the expense of smaller operators, ACA says.

Charter had said that if the FCC does get rid of that condition, it should still find the rest of the merger in the public interest.

ACA says that is fine with them—it is only challenging the overbuild condition.

"The Commission has already found that the transfers are in the public interest, even when combined with an unlawful overbuild condition that exacerbates putative merger harms and injures consumers," said ACA in reply comments filed with the FCC. "If that is correct, it necessarily follows that the transfers will also be in the public interest when that unlawful, inefficient, and welfare-damaging overbuild condition is removed. The Commission should grant ACA’s petition for reconsideration and strike the overbuild condition."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.