Comcast Responds To Critics Of Proposed Merger With Time Warner Cable With Filing (CMCSA)

comcastThe proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable has resulted in a number of critics making public statements opposing the merger. Comcast submitted around 1,000 pages of documents to the Federal Communications Commission detailing how the complaints of many of the critics of the merger were being made out of their own business interests. Comcast is hoping that the disclosure of these ulterior motives will negate the complaints of its competitors.

Many of the complaints against the merger have been made by television group Discovery Communications, Netflix, and Dish, the satellite television provider. Comcast stated in its documents that many of the complaints were filed after Comcast declined to make numerous self-serving concessions to the complainants, including requests for free access to faster Internet connections and for the renegotiation of distribution agreements with television programmers. Comcast calculated that the programming cost requests alone would have added more than $4 a month to customers’ bills by 2019 with no increase in value for the customer.

The main complaint by opponents of the merger is that it would give Comcast too much power over Internet companies and TV networks. If the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable were to be approved by regulators, Comcast would control nearly 35 percent of broadband Internet service coverage and have a significant presence in 16 of the top 20 cable markets. Opponents of the merger claim that level of control over such an important market would be dangerous.

Approval of the deal has the potential to dramatically change the country’s video and broadband markets. The amount of control that the combined company would have over media and the distribution of that media would be anticompetitive and intimidating for other companies, according to the critics. Comcast stands by its position that its merger with Time Warner Cable would improve video and broadband services for customers and allow the company to upgrade its networks to be more competitive in the global marketplace. Analysts estimate that the deal for Time Warner Cable would be worth nearly $45 billion. AT&T’s $48.5 billion bid for DirecTV is also currently under scrutiny by regulators.

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