LOS ANGELES – The Writers Guild of America West has issued the following statement in response to the Department of Justice’s proposed decision to allow the Charter-Time Warner Cable-Bright House Networks merger to go through:
“The WGAW does not believe the merger of Charter, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks is in the public interest. However, we commend the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission for recognizing the harm to video competition presented by the merger and for imposing conditions to limit anticompetitive behavior.
One of the WGAW’s key concerns has been that the merger would significantly increase both the ability and incentive of the merged firm (New Charter) to use its market power to limit online video competition. In this case, the DOJ’s proposed conditions will limit New Charter’s ability to restrain programmers from licensing content to online video distributors (OVDs). Further, the FCC conditions prohibiting data caps and interconnection fees for seven years will help protect both content creators and consumers in this growing online market.
But the question remains why these types of conditions should not be industry standard regulations. If the goal is to promote competition and innovation in this consolidated market, the rules must be applied equally to all pay TV operators and Internet service providers.”