Comcast’s Latest Attempt to Justify its Merger Falls ShortSeptember 24, 2014
Comcast has filed its formal response to the Petitions to Deny that Public Knowledge and others filed at the FCC, asking the FCC to block its acquisition of Time Warner Cable.
The following statement can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:
“Comcast is treating Americans' concerns about the merger like it treats its customers: By ignoring their complaints and giving them a sales pitch.
“Its defensive reaction to the thorough evidence that has been put before the FCC show that it's a company that realizes this merger is far from a done deal. Public interest groups, consumers, and companies in many different lines of business have put forward a convincing case that this merger should be blocked.
“Comcast's 'best' argument for this merger is that it's already so big that things can't get any worse for consumers and competition. Unfortunately, this is not true. This merger would push it from being merely the largest cable and broadband provider in the country, to controlling nearly half the broadband market nationwide, with a grip on the most valuable television markets. This merger would significantly increase Comcast's means and ability to act anticompetitively, including thwarting the development of independent online video competititon.
“Comcast chooses to attack some of its critics instead of putting forward a convincing rebuttal of their claims. Its response to the arguments from other companies is telling. Of course many of the companies who object to this deal have business reasons for doing so–just as Comcast is motivated by business concerns itself. But in this proceeding, companies from every area of the video and broadband industry have come forward. Programmers, broadcasters, cable and satellite TV companies, ISPs, internet content companies, internet backbone providers, and others have all joined consumers in voicing their objections. This is not a case of individual businesses looking to get leverage over Comcast, but of an entire industry realizing the threat Comcast poses to open markets and competition.
“We will file a more thorough rebuttal of Comcast's claims in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we predict the FCC will see through Comcast's evasions and bad logic.”