Business

Charter Customers Say Bigger Isn’t Likely to Mean Better

A Charter Communications van in Town and Country, Mo. (Jeff Roberson/AP Photo)
A Charter Communications van in Town and Country, Mo. (Jeff Roberson/AP Photo)

(New York Times) – “Maybe it will go from an F-minus to an F.”

So predicted Terence Allen of Atlanta, a longtime Charter Communications subscriber, upon hearing that many long-suffering Time Warner Cable customers were crossing their fingers that Charter’s acquisition of their cable provider could lead to better service.

Mr. Allen, who has had no cable option but Charter in his neighborhood for the last 15 years, was echoing (in rather more pronounced terms) a sentiment voiced by a number of analysts, consumer advocates and brand watchers: For Time Warner Cable subscribers, “not quite as bad” may be about as good as they can expect with this deal.

Charter’s announcement on Tuesday that it had agreed to buy its larger rival Time Warner Cable for $56 billion cheered Wall Street, and observers predicted that some of the regulatory hurdles that led to the demise of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal last month were not as likely to be a problem this time.

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