Maine’s Pro Rata Cable Law Survives Appellate Challenge

  • The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to Maine’s Pro Rata Law in Spectrum Northeast v. Frey, securing Maine AG Aaron Frey’s win in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and allowing the law to remain in place.
  • Spectrum Northeast, LLC and its parent company Charter Communications, Inc. filed a petition for certiorari challenging the First Circuit’s ruling upholding the Law—which requires cable companies to prorate customers’ final bill after cancellation of service—arguing that the law is preempted by the federal Cable Act, which prohibits states from “regulat[ing] the rates for the provision of cable service.” In his brief in opposition, AG Frey argued the First Circuit correctly held that the law is not a regulation of “rates for the provision of cable service” and is instead a consumer protection measure that is only applicable once the provision of cable service has ceased.
  • Because certiorari was denied, the First Circuit’s decision upholding the legality of the Pro Rata Law stands, and the law will remain in place. According to the AG’s office, Spectrum has been complying with the law since February 2022 and has agreed to prorate the final month of service for any customer who canceled service between September 2020 and January 2022 and requests a refund.