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John Malone Steps Down from Charter Communications Amid Antitrust Probe

 |  April 21, 2024

John Malone, the chairman of Liberty Media Corporation, has announced his decision to step down from his director emeritus role at Charter Communications. According to the Wrap, this decision comes amidst growing uncertainty surrounding Clayton Act inquiries, which have led to other resignations within the industry.

Malone, in a statement provided to Cablemax, referenced the ongoing scrutiny surrounding the Clayton Act, a 1914 antitrust law that sets rules on interlocking board directorates, as a contributing factor to his resignation. He highlighted the resignations of Steven A. Miron and Steven O. Newhouse from Warner Bros. Discovery earlier this month, which were similarly prompted by concerns over antitrust investigations.

Expressing confidence in Charter’s leadership team and strategic direction, Malone emphasized his continued investment in the company through Liberty Broadband, which maintains three board seats at Charter. He had served as a director emeritus at Charter since 2018, following his retirement as the company’s full-time director.

Despite stepping down from his role at Charter, Malone retains his position as chairman of Liberty Media and maintains a seat on the board of Warner Bros. Discovery.

The departures of Miron and Newhouse from Warner Bros. Discovery occurred after the Department of Justice initiated an investigation into potential violations of the Clayton Act. The inquiry focuses on whether their simultaneous service on the boards of competing companies violated the century-old provision aimed at preventing conflicts of interest.

Commenting on these developments, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael Kades of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division applauded the resignations as a positive outcome for consumers. He reiterated Congress’s concerns regarding shared directors among competitors, emphasizing the importance of vigorous enforcement of antitrust laws to ensure fair competition and protect consumer interests.

Source: The Wrap