01-2-3015 In the Matter of Petition of Time Warner Cable Inc., N.J. Super. App. Div. (per curiam) (10 pp.) This appeal related to the Board of Public Utilities’ approval of a merger between Charter Communications, Inc., and Time Warner Cable, Inc. Appellants National Association of African American-Owned Media and Entertainment Studios Networks Inc sought review of the final agency decision approving the merger. Appellants were not parties and did not comment upon or complain until after the agency voted to approve the merger. Appellants asserted that Charter had engaged in discriminatory practices and complained that the merger would further foster those unlawful practices. Nearly a month after the Board executed its final agency decision, appellants wrote to Rate Counsel, asking Rate Counsel to stay the Board’s order and schedule a hearing. A week later, appellants wrote to the Board requesting a stay of the merger order. In seeking a stay, appellants argued that, if given a hearing, they would be able to establish the merger would be detrimental to 100 percent African American-owned media companies. Thereafter, appellants filed a notice of appeal of the final agency decision. The Board denied appellants’ application for a stay, persuaded by appellants’ failure to bring their concerns to the Board during the eight months that the matter was pending. Appellants did not thereafter seek a stay from the court, nor did they file an amended notice of appeal seeking reversal of the Board’s decision. The merger participants have since consummated the transaction approved by the Board through the final agency decision. The appellate panel found the Board acted within its discretion in denying appellants’ motion for a stay and affirmed. Appellants never asked to be heard during the public comment period and never complained about the merger until after it had been approved. The Board cannot be faulted for its refusal to reopen the proceedings and consider issues never properly or timely raised.
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