Not-So-Gentle BEN Sues AT&T


A minority-owned programmer has sued AT&T Broadband in federal court in
Colorado alleging that the MSO discriminated against the smaller company,
denying it a chance to buy some of its cable systems.

The suit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Denver on behalf of Black
Education Network, a subsidiary of BEN Asset Group Inc.

The company previously attacked AT&T Broadband in comments filed in
opposition to the MSO's acquisition by Comcast Corp. Executives alleged that
they had documented financing totaling $3.1 billion and were the highest bidders
for a group of systems in seven states.

AT&T Broadband "changed the rules" and scope of the transaction and sold
part of the systems to Mediacom Communications Corp. and Charter Communications
Inc., according to the Federal Communications Commission and court complaints.
The systems were bought by the two MSOs for an estimated $3 billion.

AT&T Broadband's actions showed that the corporation would rather make
millions of dollars less on a sale than allow a minority-owned company to "move
into the neighborhood" by becoming a part of the cable industry, according to
BEN Asset Group's filing.

The court suit seeks unspecified damages.