NY commission revokes approval of Charter-Time Warner Cable merger

NYS moves to kick Charter Communications out of state

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.

Big quote: "These recurring failures led the Commission to the broader conclusion that the company was not interested in being a good corporate citizen and that the Commission could no longer in good faith and conscience allow it to operate in NY". Nationwide, Charter has 26 million customers, and the company would continue to own former Time Warner Cable systems in states besides NY. NY is giving Charter a 60-day grace period to continue operating in the state to provide service to customers, and during the time it must aid in helping to find a replacement service provider and to help ease the transition process.

In the meantime, Charter must comply with all local franchises it holds in New York State and all obligations under Public Service Law and commission regulations.

"Charter's repeated failures to serve New Yorkers and honor its commitments are well documented and are only getting worse ..."

Charter says it remains focused on expanding broadband and said "rhetoric often becomes politically charged" in election years.

The company's purposeful obfuscation of its performance and compliance obligations to the state Commission and its customers.

The commission said the company has failed to meet several deadlines in achieving these goals.

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Some of this may sound subjective, but Charter did pledge to bring high-speed broadband internet to 145,000 "unserved and underserved homes and businesses".

That pledge was one of the "most critical" conditions attached to the merger approval, the commission argued in an order posted online Friday. Lawyers for the PSC also took steps in State Supreme Court in Albany to seek additional penalties. This isn't the first time that NY has fought back against Charter/Spectrum over its dismal track record.

It's rare to see a state try to undo a merger this way and prohibit a company from operating (in its current form) in the state, but NY is clearly unhappy with Charter's actions in the wake of this merger, and displeased enough that they're moving beyond fines to merger revocation.

Charter is also accused of "below standard installation and construction work" including, the commission claims, improperly installing poles and leaving detached wires laying on the ground.

Charter Communications is the largest broadband communications company and second-largest cable operator in the nation.

The PSC has fined Spectrum Cable's parent company for repeatedly missing its broadband and network expansion targets, a condition of its merger with Time Warner Cable.

A Charter spokesman did not respond to requests for further comment.

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