The intended merger of Charter Communications, Bright House Network and Time Warner Cable to form the entity "Mega Cable" has ruffled the feathers of Dish Network Corp., the satellite company. 

Dish, along with Public Knowledge, NTCA, U.S. Telecom, Common Cause and Consumers Union, have now come together to stop the Mega Cable deal as they believe that the proposed merger would affect rivals.

The group, composed of 17 entities united under the "Stop Mega Cable Coalition" moniker claim that the intended deal worth $55.1 billion would drastically impact and "reduce the ability of new players" to grow in the broadband space.

"As proposed, Mega Cable could undermine new and emerging streaming video services, starve out independent programmers and worsen customer service, all while raising prices. That must not be permitted; the FCC and DOJ must solve the harms presented by Mega Cable," propagates the Stop Mega Cable website.

The consumer groups argue that if the merger goes through, then Mega Cable and Comcast would be in a position to control nearly 90 percent of the broadband space.

The Stop Mega Cable Coalition belives that this concentration of power has serious long-term risks. With the duopoly, the coalition fears that the two may manipulate the broadband market to their advantage, potentially squeezing out the smaller players who will be unable to match-up to the policies they offer.

This would also threaten the future of independent programmers and over-the-top (OTT) streaming services.

For Jeff Blum, deputy general counsel and SVP for Dish Network Corp., the major concern for the company is the repercussions the Mega Cable merger would have on its OTT services, particularly the burgeoning area of the TV-via-Internet service.

"[Big Cable] view OTT as a threat and have the ability to damage the OTT marketplace," says Blum.

Dubbed Sling TV, Dish's OTT service was launched in 2015. Subscribers were charged with a monthly fee of $20 to gain access to some channels such as AMC, ESPN and TNT. The subscriber can opt to include other channel packages for an additional $5 to $15 each month.

Mega Cable coming into existence would leave only two players to control the broadband space only two players. Consumers could potentially face high cable prices and have no say in matters of customer service.

Charter Communications is not surprised that the coalition is seeking a review of the proposed merger from regulatory bodies.

"It should come as no surprise that Dish and other parties seeking to use the regulatory review process to extract concessions are also engaging in tired PR tactics to further their self-interests. Their arguments against the pending transactions are baseless," says Charter.

Photo: Dave L | Flickr 

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