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US: Dish Network asks FCC to deny Charter-Time Warner merger

 |  October 14, 2015

Satellite provider Dish Network petitioned the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday to deny the proposed merger between Charter Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc., citing the combined company’s market power in broadband and what it said was an ability to harm online video services.

In a statement, Douglas County-based Dish said the merger “would be no better for the public interest” than the prior proposed deal between Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable that the companies abandoned after facing stiff resistance from regulators.

Dish had joined other companies such as Netflix Inc. in drumming up opposition to that deal.

Dish, which offers the $20-a-month streaming service Sling TV, said the proposed Charter-TWC merger has the potential to “significantly damage competitive development of over-the-top video.”

The satellite provider said that “almost two-thirds” of households in its footprint won’t have access to at least another alternative high-speed broadband provider.

Dish also said Charter would be in a position to hamper the service of online video providers, whose services compete with cable TV providers, by degrading their traffic at “choke points” on the Web.

“There is no more friendly broadband provider to Sling than Charter,” said Charter spokesman Justin Venech in an e-mailed statement late Tuesday. “Charter’s slowest speed is 60 [megabits per second], we have no data caps, no contracts and modem fees.”

Full content: The Wall Street Journal

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