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|CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS, INC. /MO/ filed this Form 10-Q on 08/09/2016|
may divert management’s attention and resources away from our business. In recent years, the number of intellectual property infringement claims has been increasing in the communications and entertainment industries, and, with increasing frequency, we are party to litigation alleging that certain of our services or technologies infringe the intellectual property rights of others.
Various events could disrupt our networks, information systems or properties and could impair our operating activities and negatively impact our reputation and financial results.
Network and information systems technologies are critical to our operating activities, both for our internal uses, such as network management and supplying services to our customers, including customer service operations and programming delivery. Network or information system shutdowns or other service disruptions caused by events such as computer hacking, dissemination of computer viruses, worms and other destructive or disruptive software, “cyber attacks,” process breakdowns, denial of service attacks and other malicious activity pose increasing risks. Both unsuccessful and successful “cyber attacks” on companies have continued to increase in frequency, scope and potential harm in recent years. While we develop and maintain systems seeking to prevent systems-related events and security breaches from occurring, the development and maintenance of these systems is costly and requires ongoing monitoring and updating as techniques used in such attacks become more sophisticated and change frequently. We, and the third parties on which we rely, may be unable to anticipate these techniques or implement adequate preventative measures. While from time to time attempts have been made to access our network, these attempts have not as yet resulted in any material release of information, degradation or disruption to our network and information systems.
Our network and information systems are also vulnerable to damage or interruption from power outages, telecommunications failures, accidents, natural disasters (including extreme weather arising from short-term or any long-term changes in weather patterns), terrorist attacks and similar events. Further, the impacts associated with extreme weather or long-term changes in weather patterns, such as rising sea levels or increased and intensified storm activity, may cause increased business interruptions or may require the relocation of some of our facilities. Our system redundancy may be ineffective or inadequate, and our disaster recovery planning may not be sufficient for all eventualities.
Any of these events, if directed at, or experienced by, us or technologies upon which we depend, could have adverse consequences on our network, our customers and our business, including degradation of service, service disruption, excessive call volume to call centers, and damage to our or our customers' equipment and data. Large expenditures may be necessary to repair or replace damaged property, networks or information systems or to protect them from similar events in the future. Moreover, the amount and scope of insurance that we maintain against losses resulting from any such events or security breaches may not be sufficient to cover our losses or otherwise adequately compensate us for any disruptions to our business that may result. Any such significant service disruption could result in damage to our reputation and credibility, customer dissatisfaction and ultimately a loss of customers or revenue. Any significant loss of customers or revenue, or significant increase in costs of serving those customers, could adversely affect our growth, financial condition and results of operations.
Furthermore, our operating activities could be subject to risks caused by misappropriation, misuse, leakage, falsification or accidental release or loss of information maintained in our information technology systems and networks and those of our third-party vendors, including customer, personnel and vendor data. We provide certain confidential, proprietary and personal information to third parties in connection with our business, and there is a risk that this information may be compromised.
As a result of the increasing awareness concerning the importance of safeguarding personal information, the potential misuse of such information and legislation that has been adopted or is being considered regarding the protection, privacy and security of personal information, information-related risks are increasing, particularly for businesses like ours that process, store and transmit large amount of data, including personal information for our customers. We could be exposed to significant costs if such risks were to materialize, and such events could damage our reputation, credibility and business and have a negative impact on our revenue. We could be subject to regulatory actions and claims made by consumers in private litigations involving privacy issues related to consumer data collection and use practices. We also could be required to expend significant capital and other resources to remedy any such security breach.
For tax purposes, we could experience a deemed ownership change in the future that could limit our ability to use our tax loss carryforwards.
We had approximately $11.5 billion of federal tax net operating loss carryforwards resulting in a gross deferred tax asset of approximately $4.0 billion as of May17, 2016. Federal tax net operating loss carryforwards expire in the years 2019 through 2035. These losses resulted from the operations of Charter Holdco and its subsidiaries. In addition, we had state tax net operating loss carryforwards resulting in a gross deferred tax asset (net of federal tax benefit) of approximately $289 million as of May17, 2016. State tax net operating loss carryforwards generally expire in the years 2016 through 2035.