INCOMPAS to FCC: Make Charter Keep Merger Promises or Risk Blocking Streaming Success
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 22, 2020) – INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association that represents edge, streaming and competitive broadband providers, is asking the FCC to deny a request by cable giant Charter to end critical merger conditions.
In a petition to the FCC, Charter is seeking a premature sunset of two critical merger conditions that benefit both consumers and online competition. In its 2015 merger review, Charter said it would uphold and expand its consumer-friendly practices, including no data caps and good interconnection policy — both of which enable new streaming and online content to flourish. The FCC imposed conditions to ensure those promises would be fulfilled and Charter now seeks to end those conditions two years early.
INCOMPAS filed a detailed petition to deny with the FCC, arguing that allowing Charter to break its promises would raise prices for consumers and enable Charter to impose access charges at interconnection which would harm online competition, including stifling creators and new entrants.
In addition to its filing, Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS released the following statement:
“Promises made must be promises kept. Charter was only granted its megamerger after agreeing to consumer-friendly terms that promote streaming and online competition, which helps families save money and encourages the deployment of faster speed broadband networks.
“Charter is not only asking the FCC to let it off the hook from merger conditions that help consumers, it is seeking to upend the success of the market driven streaming and online revolution. Consumers don’t have enough broadband options at home, especially at faster speeds, and the merger conditions ensure Charter keeps its promises made. Absent more broadband competition, Charter has the power to slow, throttle and stifle new creative content from online and streaming choices. Higher prices, slower connections and new fees are the wrong direction at the wrong time for our online economy, and we urge the Commission to deny Charter’s Petition.”
INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association, is the leading trade group advocating for competition policy across all networks. INCOMPAS represents Internet, streaming, communications and technology companies large and small, advocating for laws and policies that promote competition, innovation and economic development. Learn more at www.incompas.org or follow us on Twitter: @INCOMPAS @ChipPickering