NHMC Files Testimony with the Public Utilities Commission Opposing the MergerThe National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) filed testimony on Friday with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) opposing a pending merger of cable giants Charter, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks. NHMC contends in their filing that consolidating significant power in the cable and broadband markets would harm California consumers, particularly Latinos, by leaving fewer choices, negatively impacting diversity in programming and employment, and causing the prices consumer pay for communications services, like broadband Internet access, to go up. Read the filing in full here: http://www.nhmc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Reply-Testimony-of-NHMC.pdf The massive company that would result from the merger would control a network that passes 50 percent of households in California – often leaving it the only option for cable and high-speed Internet access service for many consumers and granting it unprecedented gatekeeper power to choose or refuse content and control what California customers are able to access. Moreover, the companies have failed to sufficiently explain the impact that this merger would have on diversity programming and diversity within the resulting company’s workforce. The lack of such specificity is particularly troubling coming from companies that wish to serve the diverse communities of California. “A merger of this size and scope would grant an unacceptable concentration of power over the cost and quality of broadband connections and access to diverse programming,” said Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. “It would set a dangerous precedent and, if approved, the harms it could create would be irreversible. Access to the Internet allows Latinos and others, who have been traditionally excluded or underserved, to bypass gatekeepers and legacy systems plagued with institutionalized discrimination to create content, start or grow a business, or shine a spotlight on important social justice issues. The merged entity would serve an incredibly diverse set of communities in California and across the country. However, Charter is unwilling to state that its new-found market power won’t cause prices to skyrocket or offer details about how it hopes to serve these communities with diverse programming and a workforce that is reflective of its new footprint. This is unacceptable. This merger would be a bad deal for Latinos and California.” Nogales was heavily involved in negotiating a memorandum of understanding with Charter, urging concrete commitments be made to the Latino community, before withdrawing from conversations when it became clear that the process would be fruitless. In addition to the CPUC, the Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department are also vetting the Charter-TWC-Bright House deal. For interviews, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.716.1953 or email@example.com.]]>
National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a woman-led 501(c)(3) non-profit civil and human rights organization that was founded to eliminate hate, discrimination, and racism toward the Latino communities.
Los Angeles, CA