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Still No FCC Vote on Charter-Time Warner Cable Merger - Broadcasting & Cable

Still No FCC Vote on Charter-Time Warner Cable Merger

Stop Mega Cable pushing for more conditions
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By late Tuesday, May 3, the FCC commissioners—other than chairman Tom Wheeler—had yet to vote the Charter-Time Warner Cable deal, according to an FCC source, which was giving some groups more time to push for additional conditions.

Wheeler on April 25 circulated the proposed conditional approval of the deal, with a combination of conditions from the Justice Department and the FCC on broadband buildouts, access to over-the-top content, and more.

Related: FCC Approves Altice's Purchase of Cablevision

The office of FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn declined to comment on meetings with stakeholders looking for diversity-related conditions in the deal.

The Stop Mega Cable Coalition—Dish and Common Cause, among others—met with advisors to Clyburn and fellow Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel May 2, according to an FCC ex parte filing.

Related: Feds OK With Charter/TWC

They argue the conditions the FCC imposed fall short of the market, arguing the over-the-top related conditions still leave room for the company to "thwart" competition.

They are seeking additional conditions like a standalone high-speed broadband condition at comparable speeds to bundled service (a minimumm 60 Mbps down, 4 up) to make it easier to cut the traditional video cord, plus diversity conditions that go beyond the Charter memorandum of understanding (MOU) with various groups.

Related: Wheeler—Charter Merger Conditions Create Competition Zone

The Republican commissioners also likely want to give the proposal a thorough vetting before voting given their complaints about the FCC chairman getting a head start in outlining his view of FCC items before they get a chance to see them and weigh in.

The California Public Utilities Commission is not expected to vote on the deal until May 12, so it won't be closing before then in any event.

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