Sanders and Democratic Senators Call for Careful Evaluation of Proposed New Charter Deal

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 – Sens. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D–Ore.) and Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) today sent a letter to the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission urging the agencies to consider the potential harmful effects that could result from the proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks by Charter Communications.

The proposed “New Charter” deal would effectively create a nationwide broadband duopoly, leaving New Charter and Comcast largely in control of nearly two-thirds of the nation’s high-speed broadband homes. The senators also expressed concern about how the amount of debt New Charter will undertake as a result of the deal could negatively impact any commitments it has made to build out its network, including in rural areas.

“Unfortunately, the proposed deal raises serious concerns about the future of this critical marketplace because it would establish a duopoly in the high-speed broadband industry.  Comcast and New Charter’s dual dominance of the market could lead to a number of concrete harms to consumers, including higher prices and fewer innovative services,” write the senators in a letter to the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission. “New Charter must not only prove that this deal would not harm consumers, but they must also demonstrate that it would actually benefit them and promote the public interest.” 

A copy of the letter can be found here.