Charter cable company acquired Time Warner Cable in a 2016 merger, becoming one of the largest TV providers in the country. Re-branded as Spectrum, the company introduced a streaming option last year. New York, however, hasn't been impressed with the company's performance, and has now kicked Spectrum out of the state and rescinded its approval for the merger.
The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) says that Spectrum repeatedly failed to meet deadlines, skirted its obligation to serve rural communities, had unsafe practices in the field, failed to fully commit to its obligations under the merger agreement and has purposefully hidden performance metrics.
"These recurring failures led the Commission to the broader conclusion that the company was not interested in being a good corporate citizen and that the Commission could no longer in good faith and conscience allow it to operate in New York," the regulators wrote in a press release. "Today's actions are meant to address Charter's failings and to ensure New York has a partner interested in the public good, not just lining its pockets."
Losing the state's approval is kind of a big deal. The Commission points out that Charter is the largest cable provider in New York, and it offers TV, internet and VoIP services to more than two million subscribers in over 1,150 communities, including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens and parts of Brooklyn. Charter has 60 days to file an "orderly transition" plan to a new cable operator, and must continue to comply with regulations and serve all local franchises in New York state until that time. The Commission also requires $3 million in penalties from the company.