USTelecom Pulls Out of Stop Mega Cable Coalition

Says it wants to condition, not bury, deal
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USTelecom has dropped out of the Stop Mega Cable Coalition, apparently over the direction of the coalition.

That is the group that coalesced with concerns about the Charter-Time Warner Cable merger.

The decision was announced Friday, the same day the coalition met with FCC officials, according to a source familiar with the meeting, and stemmed from a divergence from coalition member Dish, which has been vocal about its opposition to the merger.

While the coalition was called Stop Mega Cable, there was apparently something of a "ladies and gentlemen's" agreement that the thrust of the coalition would be to put conditions on the merger, not try to submarine it.

The FCC meeting was described as something of a "last straw" in the divergence between Dish and the telecoms.

"USTelecom announced today it will no longer participate in a coalition formed to raise concern about the proposed Charter-Time Warner Cable-Bright House merger because the coalition is no longer aligned with USTelecom’s policy positions," the association said in a statement. "As outlined in this filing, USTelecom made clear it does not oppose the merger but suggested some common-sense conditions for the Federal Communications Commission to consider as it weighs the impact of the transaction on consumers."

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