In a statement, USTelecom said that it’s exiting because “the coalition is no longer aligned with USTelecom’s policy positions.”
USTelecom said that it had “made clear it does not oppose the merger but suggested some common-sense conditions for the Federal Communications Commission to consider as it weighs the impact of the transaction on consumers.”
Last month, USTelecom, Dish Network, Public Knowledge and a number of other groups launched the Stop Mega Cable Coalition, holding a conference call with reporters in which Jeff Blum, a Dish executive, compared the merger proposal to that of Comcast with TW Cable. That merger proposal was abandoned last year when it became clear that it would not get the greenlight from federal regulators.
“Comcast was a category 5 hurricane; Charter is a category 4. It is still really bad,” Blum said.
Although Dish Network believes that the deal should be blocked, some members of the coalition made it clear to reporters that they were concerned about the merger, but stopped short of calling on regulators to try to stop it.
At the time the coalition was unveiled, Charter said that it “should come as no surprise that Dish and other parties seeking to use the regulatory review process to extract concessions are also engaging in tired PR tactics to further their self interests. Their arguments against the pending transactions are baseless.”