Although Time Warner Cable (TWC) is in the process of completing a merger with Comcast, there’s a more pressing legal matter at hand. On Tuesday, WestsideToday.com that the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office has filed a lawsuit against TWC for close to $10 million.
In a statement, Mike Feuer, L.A. City Attorney, alleged that TWC has is delinquent on municipality fees. They’ve refused to pay money the city says is owed for Public, Educational, and Government (PEG) fees.
Time Warner Lawsuit Details
In the 24-page complaint, Feuer says that the City of Los Angeles gave TWC the ability to billions in revenue because of local franchising. In turn, they have flat-out refused to pay the previously agreed upon fees, shortchanging taxpayers out of millions of dollars. The monetary details of the lawsuit are as follows:
* Los Angeles is seeking $9,697,896 from the TWC lawsuit
* Over $2.5 million is owed for 2008 and 2009 PEG fees
* Close to $7.2 million is overdue for 2010 and 2011 PEG fees
Supportive Evidence for L.A. VS TWC Lawsuit
Los Angeles City Attorney provided the Courts with two different arguments as supportive evidence against Time Warner Cable:
1) Time Warner has been allowed to have the monopoly over providing cable TV services to the local residents of the City of Los Angeles. This means that no other cable company is allowed to provide services within the jurisdiction designated to TWC. Yet, they have blatantly refused to pay the fees they’re obligated to, according to the terms of the monopoly agreement.
2) The expected PEG fees were used by Los Angeles City Hall to pay for what they call “core services.” Some of these services include senior centers, parks, library operations, sanitation services and police and fire protection. Since the fees have not been paid, the City is currently in the whole after dishing out money for core services.
In 1986, Los Angeles City Hall began the authorization of “local cable franchises.” They create geographical segments within the limits of the City for this purpose.
Cable Communications Act of 1984
California law, along with The Cable Communications Act of 1984, gives the City the power to give Time Warner Cable the “right to occupy valuable public property.” This right allows them to “build a system to provide cable.” In exchange, cable companies given this “right to occupy” must pay franchise fees that are “equal to five percent of the operator’s gross revenues.”
“The Act also allowed a city could enforce requirements for PEG facilities and equipment… City Hall issued 12 local franchises to Time Warner, according to the complaint.” Parimal Rohit of WestsideToday.com