Charter Communications is in the process of buying Time Warner Cable, but the deal has provoked a number of objections from some of the USA’s smaller cable operators who are fearful that the influence of ‘cable guy’ John Malone in US broadcasting and cable is not necessarily healthy.
One way or another John Malone has significant investments in Charter, Time Warner, Discovery Communications, and widespread investments via his Liberty Global, Liberty Interactive (which controls QVC), Liberty Broadband and Liberty Media projects, as well as Starz (46.6 per cent), Sirius/XM, Viacom and DirecTV.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is now undertaking its own due diligence on Mr Malone. The FCC will want responses to the American Cable Association’s grumbles that a merger between Charter and Time Warner Cable will lead to higher cable fees, and that the FCC should impose limits and conditions on the deal.
The FCC’s questions must be answered by November 16th.