Comcast today filed a 175-page “public interest statement” with the Federal Communications Commission to explain why its proposed $45.2 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable will be good for consumers. The country’s largest cable and broadband Internet provider is already meeting opposition in its quest to buy the second largest cable provider, however.
As Comcast prepares for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for tomorrow, more than 50 public interest groups “submitted a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler calling a market takeover of this scale ‘unthinkable’ and urging the agency to block the deal,” said an announcement from consumer advocacy group Free Press. “The coalition delivered the same letter to Attorney General Eric Holder at the Department of Justice, which is also charged with reviewing the merger.”
While consumer groups think buying Time Warner Cable will give Comcast too much power, Comcast Executive VP David Cohen said in a conference call today that it needs extra scale to compete against Google, Netflix, and other companies in the broadband and video markets. Google is only offering fiber Internet in a few markets today, but “the point is, Google is coming,” Cohen said. “They are a company with global scale, enormous resources, [that] is substantially larger than we are. The business reasoning behind the transaction is that we also need the scale to be able to compete with the Googles and other generations of competitors that are going to continue to flood the multi-channel video marketplace.”
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