Comcast and TWC hit with $20 billion racial discrimination charge

The Comcast/ Time Warner Cable (TWC) merger has come up against yet another hurdle, in the shape of a lawsuit for racial discrimination from the National Association of African-American Owned Media.

In a case filed on Friday at a Los Angeles federal court, the two companies have been sued $20 billion for allegedly refusing to contract with African American-owned media.

The $45 billion merger between two of the US’ largest cable firms has already hit a number of obstacles – both from the FCC and existing players in the market – and the latest complaint accuses the companies of paying large cash donations to the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) and the Rev. Al Sharpton in exchange for their silence on the matter.  

According to the complaint, Comcast has entered into a MoU with Sharpton and the NAACP for the arrangement.

The complaint continued to claim that Comcast and TWC each have only one fully African American-owned channel.

“Comcast has engaged in good-faith negotiations with this programmer for many years,” a Comcast spokesperson said of the National Association of African-American Owned Media.

“It is disappointing that they have decided to file a frivolous lawsuit. We will defend vigorously against the scurrilous allegations in this complaint and fully expect that the court will dismiss them.”

Sharpton – an American Baptist minister, civil rights activist and advisor to the White House – added to local reporters that he “welcomes the opportunity to answer the frivolous allegations” and said that he would be bringing counterclaims for defamation.