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September 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Comcast charged on Wednesday that cable TV networks and video-on-demand providers are making "extortionist" demands on it, seeking to gain concessions worth $5 billion in return for dropping their opposition to its merger with Time Warner Cable, the Wall Street Journal reported today (Thursday). The cable giant made the charges in comments filed in response to opponents of the merger, including Netflix, Discovery Communications, and DISH Network. These opponents, Comcast claimed, had offered to drop their opposition to the merger if, among other things, Comcast would agree to "carry networks that do not even exist yet," or to renegotiate agreements with it, or share its advertising technology. Addressing Netflix’s arguments against the merger, Comcast said, "What its comments and trumped-up economic theories here show is that Netflix will use any proceeding, in any context, to try to shift the costs for carrying its content onto the backs of others — a great business result for Netflix, but one that would increase prices to consumers and disserve the public interest."