Charter/Spectrum Likely To Stay In NY, Professors Say

Charter/Spectrum Likely To Stay In NY, Professors Say

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According to two professors, Charter Communications, which does business as Spectrum in the state, is likely to remain in New York. That's even though the Public Service Commission gave them 60 days to find a successor and 6 months to come up with a transition plan.

"It sounds like the company is going to take the state to court and kind of negotiate through the legal proceedings, so I would be really surprised if the outcome is that Charter will give up the Spectrum, New York State assets and somebody else will take over that," said Aija Leiponen, associate professor with Cornell University's S.C. Johnson School of Business.

SUNY Potsdam business administration professor Greg Gardner agrees that Spectrum is likely to stay in the state after Charter goes to court. Gardner said Spectrum's first likely request will be to ask for a stay.

"Both parties have strong incentive to reach an agreement, so both parties are clearly lawyered up and preparing for some kind of fight," he said.

Charter is apparently planning on fighting the Public Service Commission's order by taking the state to court. During Charter's earnings call last week, CEO Tom Rutledge said, "We believe we're in compliance with the plain reading of the buildout requirements that the state imposed on us in merger conditions and we have a very strong legal case and ability to defend ourselves and it could play out over a lengthy period of time if required." 

Rutledge added that Spectrum is well ahead of their obligations. Professor Leiponen said the dispute will come down to whether the data used to assess Spectrum's compliance with the merger agreement is correct.

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