NY state revokes approval of Charter-Time Warner…

NY state revokes approval of Charter-Time Warner…

In a meeting on Friday, the New York State Public Service Commission voted unanimously to revoke its approval of the 2016 merger agreement between Charter and Time Warner Cable because, since the merger, the company has apparently made it clear that it has no intention of following through with its side of the bargain.

PSC Commission Chair John Rhodes says after more than a year of noncompliance on Charter's part, his organization is now moving forward with stronger actions taken against the corporation for their willful ignoring of the merger's approval terms. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. As a result of Charter's adamant refusal to abide by the conditions of the merger approval, the commission ordered Charter to develop a transition plan.

NY has given Charter Communications 60 days to stop operating within the state's borders.

Spectrum - formerly known as Charter - is one of the most popular cable television and Internet access providers in the United States.

The cable provider and the state are at odds over the rate at which the company has rolled out high-speed internet in less-densely populated areas of the state, which was a key provision in the state commission's approval of the $55 billion Time Warner Cable merger in 2016.

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In a statement, Charter said the claims made by the commission were "politically charged" and tied to the state's election season. "Our 11,000 diverse and locally based workers, who serve millions of customers in the state every day, remain focused on delivering faster and better broadband to more New Yorkers, as we promised". The company agreed to deliver broadband speed upgrades to 100 Mbps statewide by the end of 2018, and 300 Mbps by the end of 2019.

"The inclusion of these addresses violates both the letter and the spirit of the commission's order approving Charter's acquisition of Time Warner Cable", commission officials wrote at the time. The company must provide uninterrupted service while the state transitions to a new service provider, the commission said. Consequently, the PSC directed Charter pay $1 million to the State Treasury for missing the June milestone, bringing the total amount of payments ordered by the commission to $3 million, and directed the commission's counsel to bring an enforcement action in State Supreme Court to seek additional penalties for Charter's past failures and ongoing noncompliance.

Members of the state Public Service Commission are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate; the chairman or chairwoman of the commission is designated by the governor.

"Over the past several years, I have heard from literally hundreds of constituents who have called me and signed my online petition, and they are absolutely fed up". Cuomo has also threatened the company with legal action - a fact the governor brought up at a news conference this month, where he told a reporter from NY1, Spectrum's local news affiliate, that he didn't want to argue with him because "I already have a lawsuit with your station, as you know". "I am pleased that the PSC is taking these serious concerns to heart, and is looking out for the hundreds of thousands of Spectrum customers across the state being shortchanged when it comes to cable and Internet service".

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