News

Comcast defends Time Warner merger as review kicks off

Comcast defends Time Warner merger as review kicks off

TOO BIG?:Comcast's 175-page filing with the Federal Communications Commission formally launches the regulatory review of the proposed $45.2 billion merger between the No. 1 and No. 2 cable operators. Photo: Reuters

By Alina Selyukh and Liana B. Baker

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Comcast Corp’s merger with Time Warner Cable Inc would not deprive consumers of TV or broadband choices and would help the two companies compete against newcomers including Google Inc and Apple Inc in the video market, Comcast told U.S. regulators on Tuesday.

Comcast’s 175-page filing with the Federal Communications Commission formally launches the regulatory review of the proposed $45.2 billion merger between the No. 1 and No. 2 cable operators. The U.S. Department of Justice will conduct the antitrust review and the FCC will examine whether the deal is in the public interest.

In the filing, Comcast reiterated that Comcast and Time Warner Cable do not directly compete in any markets, meaning no consumer would lose a choice of an Internet or cable provider, as Comcast instead would boost the quality of Time Warner Cable’s services and bring faster Internet speeds.

Comcast has pledged to divest some cable subscribers so the combined company would serve just under 30 percent of the U.S. pay television video market. The company said it would serve between 20 and 40 percent of the U.S. broadband subscribers.

Opponents have raised concerns that the combined company will have too much power over what Americans can watch on television and do online.

In Tuesday’s filing, Comcast argues that such concerns are unwarranted, especially given the growing competitiveness of both the video and the Internet markets.

All of Comcast’s and Time Warner Cable’s businesses compete with “array of sophisticated companies with national or even global footprints,” including satellite and telecom companies, the companies said in the filing.

Comcast’s filing comes a day before the company’s executive vice president, David Cohen, and Time Warner Cable’s finance chief, Arthur Minson, are scheduled to testify in Congress. They are expected to face questions about the combined company’s reach into broadband markets.

(Editing by Matthew Lewis)

Recent Headlines

in Lifestyle, National

Google is dropping fat stacks of cash in Washington

Fresh
google

Google's growing investment in lobbying highlights its expanding presence as it fights antitrust battles and grows its business into new areas such as broadband and self-driving cars.

in National, World

Prosecutor: Boston bomber’s attack ‘essence of terror’

Updated
bostonfinishline

Jurors in the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will decide what his punishment should be: life in prison or the death penalty.

in Lifestyle

Kraft giving Mac & Cheese a makeover

macandcheese

Starting in January, Kraft says its mac and cheese will be colored with paprika, annatto and turmeric.

in Music, Lifestyle

You can smoke in Willie Nelson style

willienelson

The music legend is preparing to release Willie Weed.

in Sports

NBA: Watch the top 10 plays of the season

24-overlay5

Some of the year's biggest dunks and best shots.