What Are Your Rights? The Public Service Commission Has Revoked Its Approval of The Charter – Time Warner Merger

Announcer: The following segment is sponsored by Martin, Harding & Mazzotti.

Interviewer: The New York State Public Service Commission has revoked its conditional approval of the merger of telecommunication giants Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications. Merger approval of the two telecom companies, who now operate in New York under the name Spectrum, was granted in 2016, but appears to now be in jeopardy. Here to help examine this issue is Managing Partner Paul Harding from the law firm of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. Paul, welcome back.

Paul: Thank you.

Interviewer: Thank you for being here. So, what is the Public Service Commission? And why have they now decided to revoke this merger approval that was previously given?

Paul: The Public Service Commission is a state entity. And they control our gas, electric, water, and our internet service. And they wanna make sure those providers are doing so in a good way. Well, the deal was made in 2016 to merge these companies into Spectrum, but they said, “We’re gonna let you do that, but we got about 150,000 people that don’t have internet service, or have poor internet service, and you need to meet these deliverables. You need to give them the service.” They haven’t done that. They revoked their approval, and now things are up in the air.

Interviewer: So, what does that mean for Spectrum moving forward? And can they really be prevented from doing business here in New York?

Paul: Well, if I’m counsel for Spectrum, which I’m not, I would be filing an appeal. You have about 30 days to do that. Then it’s gonna kinda go through, “Did they have the authority? Did they meet the deliverables in a meaningful way?” And so, at that point, you’re gonna go through and hopefully renegotiate. That’s what I think this is about. I think, possibly, the Public Service Commission also was somebody who’d said, “Look, we wanna get your attention. We’re gonna revoke this. You haven’t done what we want you to do,” and hopefully they can come to a deal. If not, it’s wide open.

Interviewer: So how does this decision ultimately affect our viewers and the telecommunication services that they receive from Spectrum?

Paul: The answer is, it won’t affect them at all. Again, if you’re not aware of the story, you wouldn’t know it’s happening, meaning they’re doing your service, eventually someone’ll do your service, or maybe they’ll get back to doing your service, but it will be uninterrupted as a viewer.

Interviewer: Okay, really quickly, last question. What should our viewers do if they run into a problem with their telecommunication services?

Paul: Call the provider. Usually it’ll be solved. If not, Public Service Commission, at this point, would welcome a phone call.

Interviewer: All right. Paul, thank you so much for answering our questions.

Paul: You’re welcome.

Interviewer: A lot of helpful information, and hopefully, that helped our viewers out at home.