UPDATE, 11:54 AM: Time Warner Cable has responded to the suit: “As a major job creator, tax contributor and service provider in the City of Los Angeles, Time Warner Cable is an active and responsible corporate citizen in the City of Los Angeles. We are disappointed the City has chosen to bring this action, which we strongly believe is without merit. It will now be resolved through the legal process.”
PREVIOUS, 11:26 AM: Time Warner Cable is about to learn what happens when City Hall takes you on. L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer said today that he’s going after the cable giant in a nearly $10 million lawsuit (read it here) alleging that TWC has refused to pay fees owed the city since 2011 while at the same time raking in billions in revenue. “Time Warner pocketed the money from its subscribers and didn’t turn it over to the City of LA,” Feuer said during a press conference this morning downtown. “That money would have funded 100 police officers and miles of sidewalk repair,” he said. The city is demanding Time Warner Cable pay up on $9,697,896 owed – $2,512,490 in 2008 and 2009 franchise and Public, Educational, Government use (PEG) fees, plus $7,185,406 in 2010 and 2011 franchise and PEG fees. Feuer added that the suit, filed this morning in federal court, has nothing to do with flailing carriage negotiations for TWC’s newly launched Dodgers cable network and how millions in LA will not be able to watch the team unless they are TWC subscribers.
The news comes as TWC navigates the regulatory waters associated with its proposed mega-merger with Comcast, which is acquiring it for $42.5 billion. That deal was announced last month. Feuer said he couldn’t speak to how the suit would effect the proposed merger or if the cable giant would play hardball in reaction to the city’s legal action. “How Time Warner responds to this lawsuit is their business,” he said.