Thursday, January 21, 2021

OPPOSITION ARISES TO COMCAST-TIME WARNER CABLE MERGER

February 14, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Despite Comcast chief Brian Roberts’ assertion that his company’s deal to acquire Time Warner Cable is “approvable,” some analysts are predicting an uphill battle. On Thursday, the Writers Guild of America vowed to “fight to stop this ill-conceived merger.” In a statement, the WGA said that it was “bad for everyone: content creators, programmers, suppliers and consumers.” Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich predicted that the merger will result in higher cable subscription fees, and he noted that “in customer-satisfaction surveys, subscribers consistently rank cable companies last. … Some deal.” Consumer groups also weighed in. “Comcast cannot be allowed to purchase Time Warner Cable,” John Bergmayer, a senior staff attorney at Public Knowledge, said on Thursday. “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.” Indeed, an internal battle within the Obama administration might well develop over regulatory authorization. Justice Department anti-trust regulators are expected to take a dim view of a single company controlling so much of the nation’s TV and Internet distribution, while Tom Wheeler, the new FCC chairman, a former lobbyist for the cable industry, is expected to push the merger through, albeit with some conditions.