Earlier today, Comcast published a blog post to criticize the newly announced coalition opposing its merger with Time Warner Cable and to cheer about the FCC’s decision to restart the “shot clock” on that deal. But someone at Kabletown is probably getting a stern talking-to right now, after an accidental nugget of honesty made its way into that post.
Comcast posted to their corporate blog today about the merger review process, reminding everyone why they think it will be so awesome and pointing to the pro-merger comments that have come in to the FCC.
But they also left something else in.
Near the end, the blog post reads, “Comcast and Time Warner Cable do not currently compete for customers anywhere in America. That means that if the proposed transaction goes through, consumers will not lose a choice of cable companies. Consumers will not lose a choice of broadband providers. And not a single market will see a reduction in competition. Those are simply the facts.”
The first version of the blog post, which was also sent out in an e-mail blast, then continues: “We are still working with a vendor to analyze the FCC spreadsheet but in case it shows that there are any consumers in census blocks that may lose a broadband choice, want to make sure these sentences are more nuanced.”
After that strange little note, the blog post carries on in praise of competition, saying, “There is a reason we want to provide our customers with better service, faster speeds, and a diverse choice of programming: we don’t want to lose them.”
We asked Comcast if the inclusion of the note in the original was intentional or not. We haven’t heard back, but the post on their site has been updated to remove the text and a revised press release was also sent out reflecting this change.
The note is presumably an editorial comment from an earlier draft of the post. It’s partially a comment on style, but it does tell us one thing worth knowing.
While Comcast is out insisting with certainty and authority that “not a single market” will lose any competition after the great Comcast/TWC shuffle, the fact of the matter is that they aren’t actually sure. Some customers might.
Comcast has relied on the old sawhorse about “no reduction in competition” (which they also laughably claim is abundant) since the first day the merger hit the news.
Of course, they’re probably right. Anything times zero is still zero, after all.
So sure, Comcast and TWC don’t compete geographically. But that doesn’t mean locking up huge swaths of the country under their one banner is a good idea.