Comcast Lays Out TWC Merger Argument, Says It Will Benefit Businesses

By Josh Long Comments
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**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q1 2014.**

Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, on Tuesday said its $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) will make it a more attractive communications provider for businesses with locations across the country.

The combined company will be able to offer businesses improved services, lower prices and greater options, stated Comcast's David Cohen, executive vice president and chief diversity officer in public policy, in a blog posting announcing that his employer had filed its public interest statement with the Federal Communications Commission, touting the purported benefits of the megamerger.

"Today, if you had a real estate business with offices in New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C. – Comcast and TWC couldn’t easily offer you a seamless business solution for these multiple locations," Cohen wrote. "The same if you had BBQ restaurants in Houston, Dallas, and Austin, Texas. Or a tech startup on the West Coast with programmers in Portland, Seattle, the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Competition in the business market has been long in coming, and we can take it to a larger scale that will promote economic development."

Cohen said the merged company also would provide faster speeds to TWC customers, extend network neutrality protection, and expand a low-income broadband program to TWC markets.

Although Comcast and TWC are the nation's largest cable companies, Comcast points out the companies don't compete in each other's territories. After the deal closes and Comcast divests roughly 3 million customers, the company will still only control 30 percent of the multichannel video market, Cohen said.

"Because Comcast and Time Warner Cable do not currently compete to serve customers, there will be no change in market share in local markets for video, high-speed data, and voice. And, there will be no impact on the competitiveness of other MVPDs, including DirecTV, DISH, Verizon, AT&T, and other cable companies, because they will still be competing with the same number of competitors in each market in which they operate," Comcast states in a summary of its public interest statement.

Critics of the merger fear Comcast will wield too much power in the broadband market. In a letter Tuesday to Attorney General Eric Holder and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, 50 public interest groups said the merger would "give Comcast unprecedented control over the Internet" and "pose a grave threat to media diversity."

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