Public Knowledge Statement on Comcast/Time Warner Cable MergerFebruary 12, 2014
The following can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney:
“Comcast cannot be allowed to purchase Time Warner Cable. Antitrust authorities and the FCC must stop it.
“If Comcast takes over Time Warner Cable, it would wield unprecedented gatekeeper power in several important markets. It is already the nation’s largest ISP, the nation’s largest video provider, and one of the nation’s largest home phone providers. It also controls a movie studio, broadcast network, and many popular cable channels. An enlarged Comcast would be the bully in the schoolyard, able to dictate terms to content creators, Internet companies, other communications networks that must interconnect with it, and distributors who must access its content. By raising the costs of its rivals and business partners, an enlarged Comcast would raise costs for consumers, who ultimately pay the bills. It would be able to keep others from innovating, while facing little pressure to improve its own service. New equipment, new services, and new content would have to meet with its approval to stand any chance of succeeding.
“What’s more, it is simply dangerous for a large proportion of our nation’s critical communications infrastructure to be in the hands of just one provider.
“TV viewers, Internet users, and everyone who depends on a well-functioning communications marketplace would not benefit from an even more powerful Comcast. Fortunately, the regulators and law enforcement agencies who must approve a deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable are empowered to promote the public interest, not Comcast’s interest in empire-building. We call on them to protect the public and stop this deal.”
Correction. An earlier version of this release stated that Comcast is the nation’s largest home phone provider. This is not correct, and we apologize for the mistake.