Tell the FCC:
NO MORE MERGERS!
STOP CHARTER'S TAKEOVER
OF TIME WARNER CABLE.
We defeated Comcast's attempt to take over Time Warner Cable — but now Charter wants to pick up the pieces. And if the deal is approved, "New Charter" will become a cable behemoth that's nearly as big as Comcast — resulting in higher prices and worse service for everyone. Take action now — tell the FCC to stand with competition and oppose this deal!
Here's the letter we will send to the FCC and Senate
We defeated Comcast's attempt to take over Time Warner Cable — but now Charter wants to pick up the pieces. And if the deal is approved, Charter will absorb billions in new debt, for which they expect you to pay for. In fact, the only reason Charter is willing to pay so much is because it knows it can raise prices as much as it likes since there’s almost no competition in America’s broadband market.
Take action now — tell the FCC to stand with competition and oppose this deal!
Can you catch me up to speed on this?
"More competition would be better."
That's what FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told a room of Big Cable executives in 2015 at an industry gathering — not long after Comcast's attempt to merge with Time Warner Cable failed spectacularly in the face of public outrage.
But Charter Communications isn't listening — they're now trying to take over the much-larger Time Warner Cable, creating a “Mega Charter” whose broadband footprint would be almost as big as Comcast's.
It would join Comcast as one of just two companies that together would control two-thirds of the nation's high-speed broadband customers.
Moreover, Charter will take on billions of dollars in new debt — debt that will be repaid by the post-merger company, free of any meaningful competition, jacking up prices on consumers.
Tell me a little bit more about what’s at stake here.
Big Cable is big enough — this is all about the profits.
Nearly 20 million subscribers would be served by New Charter — second behind only Comcast. If this deal goes through Charter will absorb billions in new debt — and that money will be on the backs of customers nationwide. They want to jack up our prices to fatten the pockets of a few greedy cable executives. In fact, we will likely see industry-wide price increases and other harmful practices designed to stifle online video competition, such as arbitrary data caps and overage penalties.
This will disproportionately impact communities of color.
Too many of us struggle to pay our cable and Internet bills as-is — and many of us can’t even afford to get connected in the first place. The best way to get more people online and close the digital divide is to lower the cost of Internet access. Charter is taking over the New York and Los Angeles markets, and will impose price increases on its customers in these diverse communities. Therefore this merger, like the failed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, will exacerbate the digital divide by concentrating market power in these communities that have many people already struggling to afford broadband.
Charter has a terrible customer service record.
Cable and Internet companies regularly rank at the bottom of the barrel in customer service surveys. Charter was at the bottom of one recent customer service survey, ranking below hundreds of other companies including Comcast. With less competition and a captive customer base, New Charter will have no incentive to actually improve customer service.
The deal poses as many problems as Comcast’s failed attempt to acquire Time Warner Cable.
It would produce the same consumer harms by exacerbating the problems in a broadband marketplace with very few choices for Internet users. If the transaction were approved, New Charter and Comcast together would form a national broadband duopoly controlling nearly two-thirds of existing customers and the telecommunications wires connected to nearly 8 out of every 10 U.S. homes.
We have good reason to be skeptical of Charter’s promises.
Big Cable hasn’t shied away from stretching the truth — and Sen. Al Franken has been quick to point out that Charter’s financial investments in seeing their acquisition through might be too costly to deliver on their broadband infrastructure commitments in rural areas — how can you build out when you’re billions of dollars in debt? Even AT&T — who just completed a merger of their own with DirectTV — expressed their concerns over cable companies attempting to merge too frequently.
Tell me more about the “Evil Empire” AKA Charter and who’s in charge.