What People Are Really Saying About Comcast-Time Warner Cable

Stay tuned….more to come!

Regulators

Bill Baer, Assistant AG, Antitrust Division, DOJ
“It’s going to be hard for someone to make a persuasive case that reducing four firms to three is actually going to improve competition for the benefit of American consumers,” [Baer] said, without referring to any specific merger proposal. “Any proposed transaction would get a very hard look from the antitrust division. – (The New York Times, 1.30.14)
David Balto, Former policy director at the FTC
“What this is going to do is handcuff customers to their cable provider, Comcast, and enable Comcast to charge more. But even more troubling is the fact that it’s going to be in a position where it will be able to prevent future forms of competition.” – (NPR’s Here & Now, 2.18.14)
Michael Copps, Former FCC Chairman and Commissioner (2001-2011)
“This is so over-the-top that it ought to be dead on arrival at the FCC… The proposed deal runs roughshod over competition and consumer choice and is an affront to the public interest.” – (Examiner, 03.20.14)

Industry members

Charlie Ergen, Chairman, Dish Network

“There is nothing that I can see that’s positive about it for anybody in the video or broadband or content business.” – (The Wall Street Journal, 2.21.14)

Randel Falco, CEO, Univision Communications

‘‘When the No. 1 and the No. 2 cable operators merge it is a cause of concern that requires significant scrutiny.” – (The New York Times, 2.13.14)

Academic researchers

Irwin Stelzer, Senior Fellow and Director of the Economic Policy Studies Group, Hudson Institute

“There is much to suggest that this merger is about as anti-competitive, and therefore anti-consumer, as one can get” – (The Hill’s Congress Blog 03.27.14)

Susan Crawford, Visiting Professor at Harvard University, former Obama administration tech adviser

“Comcast is in the business of competing with the Internet, at this point. They want to make sure that you don’t get Internet access other than through them, and that their own partners get preference over their giant digital pipes. They have no particular interest in making sure that Americans get very, very fast, very high capacity Internet connections because they’d like their own video to do better.” – (NPR, 2.14.14)

Media

Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist

“Let me ask two questions about the proposed deal. First, why would we even think about letting it go through? Second, when and why did we stop worrying about monopoly power?” – (The New York Times, 2.16.14)

Kevin Roose, New York Magazine

“Not all market consolidations are bad. But the Comcast-TWC tie-up would create a mega-empire in an industry that is already dominated by a few huge companies. For this reason alone – to say nothing of how long you’d have to stay on hold on a combined Comcast-TWC customer service line – the deal must be stopped.” – (New York Magazine, 2.13.14)

Public interest groups

Craig Aaron, President and CEO, Free Press

“In an already uncompetitive market with high prices that keep going up and up, a merger of the two biggest cable companies should be unthinkable. This deal would be a disaster for consumers and must be stopped.” – (Politico, 2.13.14)
‘‘No one woke up this morning wishing their cable company was bigger. This deal would be the cable guy on steroids — pumped up, unstoppable and grasping for your wallet.’’ – (The New York Times, 2.13.14)