Comcast has begun to lay out its arguments to the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department on why its $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable should be approved. In a public interest statement to the FCC released today, Comcast said that the merger will help the company compete against competition in the broadband space like Google and streaming entertainment service such as Netflix. It also claimed that the merger would bring the next-generation of broadband services to millions of households and businesses in America.
"Together, Comcast and TWC will bring to millions of households and businesses of all sizes the next generation of broadband Internet, video, voice and related technologies and services, and will compete more effectively against communications, media and technology providers with national and global scale," the company told the Federal Communications Commission in its public interest statement.
If approved by federal regulators and lawmakers, the deal would combine America’s two largest cable companies, with Comcast serving an estimated one-third of the nation’s cable customers and between 35 to 40 percent of the nation’s Internet customers.
Congress will begin its examination of the deal’s effect on consumers Wednesday with a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
But while Comcast is making its case for the merger to be approved, rights groups are lining up to say that the merger is bad news for consumers. More than 50 consumer groups and other organizations sent a letter Tuesday to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and Attorney General Eric Holder, saying the deal should not be approved.
"The question before the FCC is whether this deal serves the public interest. The answer is clear: A bigger Comcast is bad for America,” said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press wrote in the letter to Holder and Wheeler. "We need an Internet and video marketplace that offers people high-quality options at prices they can afford — not a near-national monopoly determining what we can watch and download."
You can read the letter here (PDF).