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Ohio consumers may soon fall victim to contract disputes

Companies are in business to make a profit. In order to do so, they usually enter into contracts with other companies to provide products or services. Then, at times, companies are bought out by other companies, and the contracts that are currently in place may not be a good fit with the new situation. It appears that a recent corporate acquisition has resulted in contract disputes that may soon have an impact on some of the company's Ohio-based customers.

In 2016, Charter Communications acquired Time Warner Cable. At the time this occurred, Charter Communications already had a contract in place with Fox. However, in an apparent review of contracts, Charter determined that the terms of Time Warner's contracts were more favorable; therefore, according to Fox, Charter began paying based upon Time Warner's contracts. While Fox claims that Charter is ignoring the contract that is in place, Charter claims that Fox is attempting to profit by threatening to remove its programming at the expense of the consumer.

This particular contract dispute is now the subject of lawsuits in addition to on again, off again negotiations. In addition to the monetary losses that each company may incur, the consumer is set to suffer as a result of this dispute. In addition to many popular television shows, the consumer may not have access to viewing sports events, including some Ohio based teams.

Many times, contract disputes are over a minor issue that can be easily discussed and clarified. However, at times, the dispute is fairly significant. When this happens, it is typically in the company's best interest to seek legal guidance in navigating the negotiating and/or litigation process.

Source: wcpo.com, "Contract dispute might mean no Fox Sports Ohio, and in turn Reds, for Spectrum subscribers", John Fay, April 12, 2017

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