Windstream accuses Charter of scare tactics to take its subscribers

Windstream Business
Windstream Holdings is alleging that Charter Communications is attempting to take its subscribers through scare tactics. (Windstream)

According to a federal lawsuit filed on Friday, Windstream Holdings is alleging that Charter Communications launched a "scare-tactic campaign" to win over its subscribers.

Little Rock, Arkansas-based Windstream, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, filed the lawsuit with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York, according to the complaint that Windstream filed.  Among other issues, Windstream said in its filing that Charter, which filed for its own bankruptcy protection back in 2009, used envelopes that had Windstream's trademark to imply that it would not be able to provide services to its subscribers and that it was going to liquidate its assets.

“Charter through its brand Spectrum, commenced a scare-tactic campaign to mislead, deceive, and confuse consumers regarding the reason, status, and consequences of Windstream's Chapter 11 cases,” the complaint stated, according to CRN “Charter disseminated false advertisements, directly targeting Windstream’s strongest customer bases in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Nebraska, and North Carolina. With a clear intent to deceive, Charter’s advertisements were sent to Windstream’s customers in a manner designed to make customers believe that the communication was from Windstream.”

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In an email to FierceTelecom, Charter Communications declined to comment.

Windstream also filed a temporary restraining order against Charter and a preliminary injunction "to enjoin a false and misleading advertising campaign that was commenced by its direct competitor, Charter, to deceive Windstream’s customers into believing that Windstream is liquidating and will no longer be providing them services."

RELATED: After legal ruling, Windstream files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

In February, Windstream lost a legal battle with New York hedge fund Aurelius Capital Management over whether Windstream had defaulted on bonds by spinning off Uniti Group four years ago. Windstream filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Windstream announced the same month that it had received a commitment from Citigroup Global Markets for $1 billion in debtor-in-possession financing. Windstream said that upon approval by the bankruptcy court, it would have enough cash on hand to meet its operational needs and "continue operating its business as usual."

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