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WASHINGTON —  The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Verizon Communications Inc. is exploring a possible merger with cable giant Charter Communications Inc.

According to the report, the deal would potentially be worth well over $100 billion, bringing Verizon’s 114 million wireless subscribers under the same roof as Charter’s 17 million pay-TV customers and 22 million broadband subscribers. Charter became the nation’s second-largest cable-television provider last year after it took over Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:

“Rumors are flying that Verizon, the nation’s second-largest phone company, wants to merge with Charter, the second-biggest cable company. This isn’t a trial balloon so much as a hallucination. This unfathomable merger would consolidate unprecedented media power in one company, kill countless jobs and hike too-damn-high cable bills even higher.

“Are we really supposed to entertain a merger that would leave much of New York City with a single high-speed internet provider? A deal like this might excite Wall Street bankers and industry lobbyists, but anyone else can see that it would be a disaster for competition, innovation and the public interest.”

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