The Public Service Commission of New York ordered Charter Spectrum to end up all operations and leave the state. The government even asked them to come up with a 60-day transition plan for enabling customers to switch over a replacement TV or Internet provider. Nobody easily believed the way things actually played out.On the other, the Charter’s (the parent company of Spectrum) CEO says that the company is ready to engage itself in a lengthy legal fight in New York in case they are not able to resolve the situation outside the courtroom.
During Charter’s earnings call, the chief executive officer Tom Rutledge quoted that “We believe we’re in compliance with the plain reading of the build-out requirements that the state imposed on us in merger conditions, and we have a very strong legal case and ability to defend ourselves.” He added that “It could play out over a lengthy period of time if required.”
“We are hopeful that all this can be worked out, but we will litigate if required.”
“Just to put it in perspective, we’re operating in 41 states. We have thousands of franchise agreements. Generally, we have good relationships with the communities we serve and we live up to our commitments, and we have in New York State.” He said that “We’re hopeful that we can work all this out, but if necessary, we’ll litigate. And we believe we’re in the right.”
The PSC of the New York State voted on Friday to abolish or cancel its approval of the acquisition of the Time Warner Cable by Charter in 2016, which adequately overturns the deal. The State’s order gave Charter Spectrum a time span of 60 days in order to prepare and file a scheme of an “orderly transition” over a replacement provider. The PSC, in its filing, wrote that the commission requires a 6-month plan for Charter to discontinue operations in the areas which were previously served by the Time Warner Cable. For Charter, this would be like selling off all its TWC assets in New York. Before the acquisition, the Time Warner Cable was operating in 29 states. So, the Charter can still maintain its business footprint in the remaining of the states. But, the company cannot deny the fact that the New York is one of the most demanding markets of the company.
The PSC of the state is blaming Spectrum for many different cases of business misconduct and declares that the company has frequently failed to abide by the compliances related to the service expansion. In this context, the Charter threw back a statement on Friday accusing New York PSC of playing politics with the vote saying that “Charter has extended the range of an advanced Internet network over more than 86,000 homes and businesses in New York since the merger agreement with the PSC.
The conditions mentioned in the agreement made between the company and the New York State asks it to pass the additional under-served or unserved businesses and homes in the less densely populated areas of the state within 4 years of the conclusion of the transaction. The Public Service Commission says that Charter is not making suitable progress in that context.
The orders of the commission allow Spectrum to ask for an extension of the sixty-day filing deadline. However, the company wants this decision to be entirely retracted through negotiations. In case Charter fails to meet the requirements of the State orders or gets struck on no resolution, then PSC will take further steps and seek an injunctive relief in the Supreme Court for the protection of the New York consumers.
In case you are a Charter Spectrum user, the odds are that you will find yourself with another service provider just in a couple of months. As this is just getting started.