SAN FRANCISCO – In a protest being filed today with the California Public Utilities Commission, The Greenlining Institute urges the CPUC not to approve the proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast, arguing that the proposed merger would not be in the public interest.
“This deal poses a real threat to low-income customers, whom Comcast has shown no interest in serving,” said Greenlining Institute Energy and Telecommunications Policy Director Stephanie Chen. Key points in Greenlining’s protest include:
- Time Warner is one of the few cable companies that treats serving low-income customers as a meaningful part of its business model, rather than just a compliance obligation. The merger would eliminate Time Warner and deliver most of its customers to Comcast.
- Time Warner has committed to providing LifeLine service for its low-income telephone customers, while Comcast has not (telephone issues are at the heart of CPUC’s jurisdiction over the proposed merger).
- The proposed deal promises to reduce competition in the Los Angeles-area market, threatening increased prices and lower service quality, while providing no economic benefits to residential customers (despite substantial cost savings for the merged company).
- The Commission should investigate the proposed new company’s commitment to diversity, given Comcast’s half-hearted record in this area.
“We believe there are strong reasons for the Commission to say ‘no’ to this deal, and we’ll be bringing up additional concerns with the FCC when the time comes,” Chen said.
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