The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said on Tuesday that Charter Communications Inc was abandoning its request to drop some merger conditions ahead of schedule as part of its 2016 tie-up with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.
Last year, Charter sought approval by the FCC to end a prohibition on imposing data caps and usage-based pricing mechanisms as well as a requirement for Charter to offer to connect its Internet protocol network to any qualifying entity free of charge in what is known as interconnection agreements. The conditions will remain in effect until May 2023, the FCC said.
Charter said Tuesday that “in light of the ongoing severity of the global pandemic and its effects on our customers, we want to offer them the assurance that they will continue to benefit from unlimited access to broadband and the accompanying financial certainty it provides during these trying times, and therefore have withdrawn our petition.”
A federal appeals court in Washington in August set aside some conditions in a suit brought by some Charter subscribers and the Competitive Enterprise Institute after the FCC declined to defend the merits of the conditions.
The court noted broadband providers often negotiate agreements governing the exchange of Internet traffic with companies like Netflix and “the broadband providers often can extract payments from” those content providers.
Republicans will lose control of the FCC on Wednesday, when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai resigns. That will leave the FCC deadlocked 2-2 until the Democratic-controlled Senate approves a nominee for Pai’s seat.
Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.