Consumer advocacy groups aren’t the only ones worried about Comcast’s plans to buy Time Warner Cable. Media industry executives have concerns about the merger, too.
Chase Carey, the president and COO of 21st Century Fox, pinpointed broadband as the biggest potential regulatory hurdle for Comcast:
“Probably the issue that will come out of it, and that will ultimately get focused on, is really the broadband issue. Is there choice in broadband? Are you really headed toward every home having simply one broadband provider, and what are the implications of that?”
Carey added, “Potentially, you may have for most of the country, simply one wired broadband pipe and again that’s the piece that will get, at the end of the day, most focused on.”
Also agreeing that broadband is the key to the merger was DirecTV CEO Mike White, who has spoken negatively about the merger since it was announced. White said that when mulling over the deal, regulators should look at “all the aspects of Internet, from net neutrality to you name it.”
Reuters says that post-merger, Comcast is lined up to be the ISP for roughly 40% of the nation’s broadband-connected households. There’s already precious little broadband competition in many areas; making Comcast bigger won’t improve the situation.
Time Warner Cable’s CEO Rob Marcus, though, says everything is just grand, according to The Verge. Also speaking at a conference, Marcus said that the merger was “truly a dream combination,” and added that he doesn’t expect much regulatory interference: “I have every confidence that the deal will close. The logic of the deal is so compelling. I really don’t see anything undermining that.”
For Marcus, who will likely exit a post-merger company with a nice little golden parachute, it probably is a dream combination. For the rest of us, not so much.