Coalition of California consumer groups urges PUC to oppose Comcast-TWC merger

Coalition of California consumer groups urges PUC to oppose Comcast-TWC merger

A coalition of consumer groups based in California has recently requested the state telecom regulator, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), to oppose the merger of two biggest US cable firms - Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC).

The coalition - whose members include Consumers Union; the Utility Reform Network; California Common Cause; and the Media Alliance, among others - is fighting the massive country-wide cable TV merger which will result from Comcast's proposed $45 billion acquisition of TWC.

In its request to the PUC late Wednesday, the coalition of California consumer groups has urged the state telecom regulator to reject an application for the proposed Comcast-TWC merger. However, with the decision pertaining to the merger still pending before the Federal Communications Commission, it is not clear whether the PUC will have any say in the approval or rejection of the acquisition deal.

Nonetheless, requesting the PUC to oppose the Comcast-TWC merger, Paul Goodman - a lawyer for the Greenlining Institute in Berkeley - said that the merger underscores a "terrible deal" for Californians, especially for communities of color and low-income consumers.

Goodman said that the acquisition of TWC will give Comcast "unprecedented control over telephone and broadband services in California, and is sure to mean higher prices for consumers, businesses, schools and libraries, as well as less diverse content and fewer choices for the public."

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