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Statement on Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger from Public Knowledge

Statement on Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger from Public Knowledge
By John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney

Comcast cannot be allowed to purchase Time Warner Cable. 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. It is already the nation’s largest ISP, the nation’s largest video provider, and one of the nation’s largest home phone providers.  It also controls a movie studio, broadcast network, and many popular cable channels.

An enlarged Comcast would be the bully in the schoolyard, able to dictate terms to content creators, Internet companies, other communications networks that must interconnect with it, and distributors who must access its content.By raising the costs of its rivals and business partners, an enlarged Comcast would raise costs for consumers, who ultimately pay the bills. It would be able to keep others from innovating, while facing little pressure to improve its own service. New equipment, new services, and new content would have to meet with its approval to stand any chance of succeeding.

What’s more, it is simply dangerous for a large proportion of our nation’s critical communications infrastructure to be in the hands of just one provider.

TV viewers, Internet users, and everyone who depends on a well-functioning communications marketplace would not benefit from an even more powerful Comcast. Fortunately, the regulators and law enforcement agencies who must approve a deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable are empowered to promote the public interest, not Comcast’s interest in empire-building. We call on them to protect the public and stop this deal.

John Bergmayer specializes in telecommunications, Internet, and intellectual property issues. He advocates for the public interest before courts and policymakers, and works to make sure that all stakeholders–including ordinary citizens, artists, and technological innovators–have a say in shaping emerging digital policies. He is a member of the Colorado and District of Colombia bars and a graduate of the University of Colorado Law School.

Public Knowledge preserves the openness of the Internet and the public’s access to knowledge; promotes creativity through balanced copyright; and upholds and protects the rights of consumers to use innovative technology lawfully.

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