The National Association of African-American Owned Media has slapped a $20bn lawsuit against Comcast and Time Warner Cable for allegedly discriminating against black-owned media.
The lawsuit has been filed at the Los Angeles federal court asking the US regulators to review the $45bn merger between the two cable operators, which is likely to make them the largest pay television distributor in the country.
The National Association of African-American Owned Media alleges that the two companies entered into ‘memoranda of understanding’ with Sharpton, host of MSNBC, to not interfere with the proceedings of the companies and to not contact African-American-owned media, reported Reuters.
It also alleges that Sharpton received $3.8m to facilitate the bias.
The complaint mentions that Time Warner and Comcast has the Africa Channel, a fully African American-owned channel, and that Time Warner Cable has accepted in Comcast’s discrimination to facilitate the completion of the merger.
The Hollywood Reporter cited Comcast’s statement as saying: "We do not generally comment on pending litigation, but this complaint represents nothing more than a string of inflammatory, inaccurate, and unsupported allegations.
"We currently carry more than 100 networks geared toward diverse audiences, including multiple networks owned or controlled by minorities."
Sharpton reportedly denied the allegations of receiving the donations.