FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 4, 2015
Press contact: Sara Cederberg, 202.930.1485
Email: [email protected]
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Demand Progress and ten other grassroots organizations announced the launch of NoMoreMergers.com, a campaign aimed at driving 100,000 public comments to the FCC against the proposed merger between Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable.
“Don’t believe the hype from Charter: this deal is terrible for consumers,” said Sara Cederberg, Campaign Director at Demand Progress. “Americans are sick and tired of Big Cable getting bigger when they get stuck with higher bills and worse service. Two companies should not control the wires connected to nearly 8 out of every 10 homes in the United States — that’s why we must defeat this merger.”
The NoMoreMergers.com coalition believes that the deal is a threat to access, competition and innovation, drawing their opposition from five key points:
- Big Cable is big enough. Nearly 20 million subscribers would be served by New Charter — second behind only Comcast. The two companies would form a duopoly in control of two-thirds of the nation’s high-speed broadband customers.
- The merger would disproportionately impact communities of color. Like the failed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, this deal will exacerbate the digital divide by concentrating market power in cities like New York and Los Angeles that have many people already struggling to afford broadband.
- Charter’s customer service record is terrible. Charter placed at the bottom of one recent customer service survey — behind even Comcast.
- This proposed merger poses just as many problems as the last one.Consumers have too few choices in an Internet provider as-is — this wouldn’t fix it. When you’re the only game in town, there’s little incentive to provide the best possible product.
- We have good reason to be skeptical of Charter’s promises. Charter will take a staggering $27 billion in debt on top of another $39 billion in existing debt to close the deal. Their pledge to take on more broadband deployment in rural areas — which offers little in substance — would be a costly one.
NoMoreMergers.com also highlights John Malone, Charter’s biggest shareholder.Once dubbed the “Darth Vader of Cable” by then-Senator Al Gore, his mastery of cable industry consolidation in the United States and Europe is taken as a signal that a bigger Charter will be terrible for consumers and will look for future acquisition — perhaps even going vertical by taking over content providers.
“No matter what you call him — John Malone, the ‘Cable Cowboy,’ or ‘Darth Vader’ — a desire to monopolize the industry has been his north star and is likely to guide Charter’s practices if this merger goes through,” said David Segal, Executive Director at Demand Progress. “Everybody knows Comcast is too big — why would we help build the next Comcast?”
Coalition members include:
- Demand Progress
- Color of Change
- Common Cause
- Courage Campaign
- CREDO Action
- Daily Kos
- Fight for the Future
- Free Press
- The Greenlining Institute
- Working Families
For more information, please visit: NoMoreMergers.com.