After nearly a year and a half without response from the agency, the Competitive Enterprise Institute is representing individuals taking the Federal Communications Commission to court over the 2016 Charter/Brighthouse/Time Warner cable merger. Arguing that the FCC has an obligation to respond to CEI’s June 2016 petition, the lawsuit requests the court to, urge the agency to respond to CEI.
The agency imposed harmful merger conditions on Charter that have nothing to do with the merger itself, which is why CEI filed a petition in 2016. CEI argued in their 2016 petition that the FCC doesn’t have the authority to put conditions in place when it comes to corporate mergers. These conditions will increase costs for consumers who will have to foot the bill for an overreaching federal agency.
In this lawsuit, CEI represents plaintiffs against the FCC in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia requesting a writ of mandamus.
On January 31, 2018, the D.C. Circuit ordered the FCC to respond to CEI’s petition.
On September 10, 2018, the FCC finally ruled after 25 months of doing nothing on CEI’s petition for the agency to reconsider the conditions it imposed on the Charter/Time Warner Cable merger.
CEI Senior Attorney Melissa Holyoak responded to the FCC’s order:
“CEI has demonstrated that the FCC imposed unlawful conditions on the Charter merger that would increase costs for consumers, who will have to foot the bill for an overreaching federal agency. Even though the FCC dismissed CEI’s petition, the FCC has no authority to micromanage the internet at the public’s expense and we are evaluating our options regarding appealing the FCC’s order.”