Tags: Franken | Comcast | Time Warner | merger

Sen. Franken: If Comcast-Time Warner Deal Collapses, So Much the Better

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Apr 2015 09:00 AM

It looks like Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable is skating on thin ice with regulators, and that's something to cheer, says Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.

"Reports that attorneys at the Department of Justice may recommend blocking Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable are good news, because if this $45 billion deal goes through, it will create a telecom behemoth unlike anything we've ever seen before," he writes in an article for TechCrunch.

Comcast is the country's largest cable company and largest broadband Internet provider, while Time Warner Cable is the second-biggest cable company and third-biggest broadband Internet provider.

"This colossus of a company would have unmatched power to destroy its competition, abuse its customers and bully the government agencies charged with regulating it," Franken states.

"Consumers would face even higher prices, even fewer choices and, if you can believe such a thing is possible, even worse service." That's why Franken has opposed the deal since it was announced last year.

Comcast and Time Warner officials are scheduled to meet with Justice Department officials Wednesday to discuss how they can keep the merger alive, knowledgeable sources tell The Wall Street Journal.

The Federal Communications Commission is considering calling a formal hearing for the merger, the sources said. And that's not a good sign.

"Mergers are never put to hearing in order to approve them," Robert McDowell, a former Republican FCC commissioner, tells The Journal. "They are designated for a hearing in order to kill them."

Morningstar analyst Michael Hodel offers laudatory words for Comcast. "[It] holds a strong set of assets, against which it has executed exceptionally well recently to gain market share. The planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable offers a low-risk opportunity to extend this strong position," he writes on Morningstar.com.

"The core cable business is the driving force behind Comcast, providing nearly two thirds of consolidated revenue."

And what distinguishes Comcast's cable business from its rivals?

"The capability of its networks, which can offer a full complement of television, Internet, and phone services," Hodel says. "The firm has used this advantage to steal an increasing share of customer relationships from its telecom rivals, including AT&T and Verizon."

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It looks like Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable is skating on thin ice with regulators, and that's something to cheer, says Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.
Franken, Comcast, Time Warner, merger
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2015-00-21
Tuesday, 21 Apr 2015 09:00 AM
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